Thursday, December 20, 2007

Chocolate Day

I'll be the first to admit that I am a binge blogger. There you have it. You'll hear nothing for weeks and then there will be three posts in a day. I blog as time permits, and I have just found a quiet moment.
Going through the pictures, I had to share this one:

This was taken at the Cummings' version of Chocolate Day. This is borrowed from a time-honored Wride Family Tradition. Let me just say that I married into the right family. :0)  Chocolate is of the utmost import around here. In fact, when Adam and I approached our first married Christmas, he made arrangements for Grandma Wride to teach me the art of dipping chocolates. It was a previously unknown but much enjoyed discovery that this is a requirement in Wride Christmas celebrations.

On the Wride side, Chocolate Day occurs first during election day - when the centers are made because the kids have a day off school. Then, the day after Thanksgiving is dipping day. Christmas music abounds, and people are light on their feet (much dancing occurs to the tracks of Trans-Siberian Orchestra), though their hands are heavy into mounds of melted chocolate. It is glorious!

The Cummings version of Chocolate day is scaled down a bit; we end up with 6 types of chocolate instead of the Wride pros'...hmm...17 I think it was this year. My favorite alternates between mint truffles and pecan turtles. Here is a picture of my "little" brother Dan and I dipping the latter. that last picture won't upload. I'll try later.

Christmas Kids

We're getting excited around here. Family is coming into town; the tree is decorated; presents are piling up; and Christmas is just around the corner! Makes me feel like a little girl! I've always had trouble sleeping on Christmas Eve.

Here are our cute kiddos at the ward Christmas party.

Beeps wants a fire truck for Christmas

In preparation for a visit to the local mall to see Santa, Spencer and I read a children's book entitled "Brave Santa" about a little boy who works up the courage to see Santa only when he finds out Santa is a little shy too. Beeps (aka Spence) had a wonderful time practicing for this big event by sitting on Daddy's lap. He even requested that Emma take her turn practicing in like manner and in the end we were all sitting on Spencer's lap to hear him say "HO, HO, HO...what do you want for Christmas?...have you been a good boy/girl?" When the time came to see Santa, he was so brave. He sat right down and announced that yes, he has been good; he wants a fire engine for Christmas; and Emma wants a snowman. Emma was happy to join her big brother on Santa's lap and didn't mind his speaking up for her. We were so pleased with how the outing went.

That was just before Thanksgiving (no lines if you go two days early). Fast forward two weeks or so to our ward party. Adam was on a business trip, and I had gone early with the kiddos to help with the last minute details. I was putting plastic cutlery in baskets when someone announced that Santa had arrived in the primary room and any children there early could go ahead and visit with him. I thought it would be nice if we waited for the rest of the fam (Gma, Gpa, and Laura) to come so we could all watch Spencer sit on the jolly fellow's lap. However, I was not quick enough to catch my little man. By the time I had emptied the plastic knives and strolled Emma over to the primary room, Spencer had already sat on Santa's lap, announced once more that he wanted a fire engine, and was nearly done chomping on his lollipop. He was the absolute first kid in line; fortunately, the ward e-mailed out photos later. I tried to have Emma take her turn, but no dice. She screamed without her Brave Spencer to set the stage. I should have snapped that picture too, just for kicks.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Still a secret

Still a secret
Originally uploaded by Adam W.
In case you didn't gather from the previous post, the secret is still intact. If for some reason you know more than Marie - please refrain from giving anything away. For the rest of you, you can speculate as you wish.

As you can tell from this picture, I'm not mad. =) (other picture told a different story)

Ticketmaster Tickets

Ticketmaster Tickets
Originally uploaded by Adam W.
Lucky for me, Ticketmaster has been in this business for a long time. See this picture? That's what the tickets look like when you look into the envelope (both sides). They know that more often than not, the intended gift recipient will open the envelope and take a look (even with the best of intentions =). As far as I can tell, the surprise was preserved.

A word to the wise: If you're gonna be sneaky this Christmas, you may need to get the mail before the surprisee.

Don't worry Marie - we're going to have a fabulous time at ____ ______ __ ______. Merry Christmas!

As you may or may not have heard, I have started a web-based software business for language learning and one of the biggest issues we are working through is the design of the product. Certainly these types of product design only come with time, but I am fascinated with well designed products - even when it is just how a ticket is printed, folded, stuffed, and mailed.

(Yes, this will be the only positive Ticketmaster blog post on the blogosphere today)

Ticketmaster envelope

Ticketmaster envelope
Originally uploaded by Adam W.
If you get one of these in the mail... don't open it unless it has your name on it. =)

See next post.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Let it Snow!

Admittedly, metric estimations are not my strong point, but I would say that I just swept a good 3-4 inches off our car, and it is still coming down (albeit more gradually than earlier today)! It was a glorious surprise to wake up to a white world this morning. I found a bit of time to peruse the blogs of some VA friends, and many are commenting on this wet, white phenomenon. Time to join the crowd!

Just after lunch, when there was a respectable amount of snow, I got the kids all gussied up in their winter weather gear, and we headed outside to take a few runs down the hill in the backyard. It took about half an hour to get ready (had to make sure Spencer had used the facilities and Emma had a dry diaper before putting on all those layers) and then we had a good 15 minutes of fun before the mittens were falling off and it was getting cold. I didn't fight it; we headed inside because I want to have LOTs of sledding parties this winter, so I didn't want any negative impressions of the first to ruin those in the future. We made a track down the hill and were careful not to walk on it as we trekked back up for more runs. We even made a few snowballs before heading back inside for hot cocoa. Spencer loves the snow - but he didn't appreciate the snowflakes falling in his eyes. Emma didn't seem to mind that at all. She was a happy little snow bunny. Spencer was a good big brother and held onto her - and then I onto him - during our sledding runs. It is nothing to compare with the sledding we used to do at my parent's place when I was young - or those down suicide hill before they leveled it out and built houses. But still, it was an appropriate celebration of the first snowfall of the year. Tonight, post shoveling, I plan to snuggle down with some hot cocoa by the lit Christmas tree. Adam's in Utah for a biz trip or else I'd be snuggling with him. Hot cocoa it is for tonight.

p.s. I know, I kids look like that one character on the movie "The Christmas Story". At least they were protected against the elements.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Bed bug

Bed bug
Originally uploaded by Adam W.
Look at those beautiful blue eyes!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Milan, Italy - Buon Natale

I have a new favorite flickr group:

Here in the Wride household, the day after Halloween means not only the start of November and gear-up time for Thanksgiving (we do not forget that wonderful holiday by any means), but it also means that it is time to start playing CHRISTMAS MUSIC! I know that is probably taboo for many until after Thanksgiving's close, but it gets me in the Christmas spirit early...and who can complain about that?

I found this GORGEOUS photo of a home in Milan on the "Days Before Christmas" flickr group. Looking at it, don't you just feel warm, like you have the most delicious hot cocoa in your hand and are snuggling up to someone you love while watching the snow fall outside? I just have to say I love Christmas!!!

I just thought this was funny...

(from Marie)

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Happy Halloween!

Like many of you readers, we carved pumpkins on Monday night for Family Home Evening. Finished products are pictured above. Emma and Spencer had some fabulous fun with the pumpkins. Emma was all smiles about the process; Spencer loved helping to punch holes to create a pattern for our creations but wasn't too keen on the whole gooey seed stuff. He takes after his Aunt Laura with that one.

Spencer's job was to put the candles in each pumpkin, and he is very good to tell Emma all about what he is doing to keep her informed and involved.

This year, we had a ladybug and a puppy dog at our house. These two cuties were hits at the trick-or-treating houses. Spencer had some practice at a trunk or treat party a few weeks ago, so he was pretty excited when we told him we were going trick or treating again. There were lots of exclamations of "Happy Halloween!!" throughout the day. Uncle Dan came over for dinner, which only added to Spencer's excitement. (Spence had very specific instruction at the dinner table about how Dan needed to sit right next to him). We started off in the Wride neighborhood and visited a few houses before knocking on Grandma's door. Spencer said "Trick or treat" and held out his bag expectantly. However, Grandma had gone to get her camera and Laura was turned around to get the candy and play-doh treats; our poor little puppy dog was so disappointed, thinking he wasn't getting candy when he had done everything so well, that he had a few tears. Thankfully, Gma W and Laura were quick to respond - crisis averted.

We finished off the night by driving to the Cummings neighborhood, where Adam, Dan, Spencer, Emma and I met up with Joel, Trina, Gma, and Gpa C. We posed for the classic Cummings costume lineup, pictured below, and headed home after some delicious hot cocoa and pumpkin bars. Yum!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

High School Sweethearts - 10 years later!

Saturday was the 10 year anniversary of our first date. If I were as awesome as my friend CJ, I would have a picture for each year to commemorate the event...although now that I think of it, that wouldn't work since two of those years Adam was on his mission. :0)
In any case, we basically relived the event. We are back in our hometown, and fate played it so that all the dates aligned perfectly...making it so that we could not help but remember that we've been dating now for ten years. (That's right, married and we still LOVE going out on dates). Our very first date was to our high school homecoming dance. I still remember exactly where Adam asked me - in the front foyer of our school, just after the school day had ended. I was thrilled! He was the "new guy" in the ward, and I was interested to get to know him better. Plus, homecoming this particular year (1997) came with complications for me. It was also concert night for the orchestra I played with, and I was only allowed to miss one concert per season...prom was also the night of a concert, and since I was helping to plan prom it seemed an easy choice about which event took priority. However, Adam solved my dilemma. His mom also played in the orchestra, so he offered to go to the concert and then finish up the night at the school dance. And so it was that I became his first date. Lucky guy! ;0)
We reminisced last night about that first date: how Adam was so nervous about putting the corsage on because he thought he had to pin it on (it was a wrist corsage); going to dinner with a group of friends at the Wride home (I didn't know before that the guys had gathered at 3 PM to make the sweet); having a bit of "single date" time as we drove to and from the concert together (scandalous!); my thinking about the advice my YW president had given on dating (thank you, Fascinating Womanhood for precious tidbits like 'body language: turn knees toward date to communicate that you are interested in what he is saying'). Most of all, I just remember having fun because I love being with Adam.
This time around, it just so happened that our high school's homecoming fell on the date of yet another symphony concert. These days, I am just playing with the String Workshop to break back into the musical world, but Adam (once again) was a sport and came along for the concert. We dashed off after that to catch the latter half of a friend's Halloween party where the only dancing we did was a "hand jive" to show our stuff during the costume walk-off. Earlier, we had a quick dinner in the Wride home - this time just Pastaroni since we were short on time. Do you see how all of these activities line up so nicely? top it off, we ended the night by going back to my parent's house. Ten years ago, it was to say good night with a quick hug (first date, after all); this time it was to pick up our two sleepy kids (who had a smashing time at Grammy and Grandpa's house, by the way - thank you, Heather, Mom and Dad!). we are. 10 years later, we are very much in love, still dating, the best of friends, and the parents of two spectacular kiddos. I call myself one lucky lady! I love you, babe.

Sometimes all you can do is laugh...

Marie tells me I have permission to use this picture. Really, there isn't much to add as this picture is worth several thousand words, but can I tell you how much I love Marie? She is a fantastic mother to these two little ones and does it with a smile (even for a picture like this).

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Emma is 6 months old!

Happy Birthday, Chickadee! We love, love, LOVE having this cheery little girl in our lives. She is such a social baby who wants to be in on every conversation and will flirt and smile at you until your attention is effectually captured. Spencer loves her and wants to make sure she is included in just about everything, even making sure that Emma had her turn swinging in the blanket during FHE. "It's Emma's turn!" He was insistent, and Emma LOVED it. Thanks Gpa W and Dad for obliging.

Here is our cutie pie this morning. I decided to take her 6 month pictures first thing, since just after that we headed to the doctor's for her check-up...that means shots. Not necessarily the recipe for smiles later on. Emma was out to prove that she is growing up. She sat up for a good LONG time outside while I snapped a few shots. She never toppled. In fact, I picked her up before she even looked unsteady.

Here are Emmas stats:
Height - 90-95%
Weight - 95-97% (That's my girl!)
Head - 75%

She has the cutest little cabeza.

After shots (trauma and drama) and a trip to Grammy's to catch up on some chatting and see the home school kids, we headed back home. Emma had missed a nap and had been so busy was her response to our morning...
Sleepy girl!

And just because I think these kids are cute...a few more pictures.
Our version of the double stroller

Emma's first experience with the swing at the nearby tot lot.

Spencer was loving the camera and wanted to take a picture on the steps of the play equipment. I thought that was sweet, so I instructed him where to sit, and he wrapped his arms around Emma. However, he was so excited to see the picture that he jumped up and Emma took a dive into the woodchips before I could catch her. She recovered admirably (thank goodness!). Do you remember when seeing your photo in the screen on the back of the camera was not even an option? In this instance, I wish for the good old days back.

(A funny side note: Spencer will pick up a wooden block, snap some "pictures" and then say, "Look, Mom," pointing at the back where the picture would show up on a digital camera. Oh, and he calls the good old toy record player Aunt Alice gave us a "DVD player" because he has no other frame of reference. So funny!)

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Our new "baby"

Adam has completed his first week as an entrepreneur. He is working to develop software that helps people learn a foreign language and is one happy fella! As an investment in this new venture, we made a little trip to Office Depot this week to get a laptop for this businessman. I teasingly call it his new "baby". Spencer was so excited to help him open the box. Hmm...the "box"...isn't that how you techies out there refer to laptops? Spencer really was thrilled with the cardboard part of this purchase. He colored and played with it and the styrofoam packing for at least half an hour while Dad figured out his new toy.
Emma was excited to share in Daddy's joy. This computer can scan your face to log you in. Pretty cool, huh?
And don't worry...Adam may be a techie, but no new toy can take the place of the real baby in this house. (Don't you love Emma's little pink velour jogging suit. I love little girl clothes!!)


Adam and I were commenting this evening after FHE how lucky we are that the transition from only child to big brother has been such a smooth one for Spencer. He and Emma get along wonderfully. Emma loves to watch Spencer show off all his tricks, and Spence will sit down to "read" to Em, stop to make sure she is watching his antics, or give her a running dialogue on what is happening. Tonight's commentary was, "Right now we're getting ready and then we're going to Grammy's house, Emma. We have to get our shoes on."

They are good pals. Spencer remembers Emma in his prayers and when it is time to kiss everyone goodnight. Emma gets a big wet one on the back of her head. (We figure that is a safe spot even when runny noses are involved).

This cute photo captures a sweet little moment. Spencer was leaning against the way-comfy green "nap" couch pillow, so on a whim we "flew" Emma down to land on his back. Emma thought that was hilarious fun, and Spencer kept saying, "Again!" and laughing when Emma "landed." Sweet kiddies. I'm pretty sure I'm the luckiest Mom around. These little ones keep me smiling!

p.s. Noteworthy: the awesome sandbox behind Spencer and Emma in the top picture is Gpa W's latest creation. He built it big enough so that all six grandkids can have digging space and be playing at the same time. So...Peter, Leslie, Emily, and we just have to get all our cuties together with THEIR shovels and OUR cameras. :0)

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Leaning tower

Our kids have been sick for the last week with croup, so my brain is a bit too sleep-deprived to compose a clever blog entry. I could not, however, pass up the opportunity to show off this sweet little lady. Emma is learning to sit up on her own. I love watching little ones make new discoveries - toes, toys, tongue clucks. It makes me more appreciative of the simple joys in my life.

Emma so enjoys this little moment of independence, though it is somewhat short-lived as she soon goes toppling over. I did manage to catch this photo before catching her as she headed toward the floor. I promise that I had just wiped her drool before taking both pictures. Will those teeth ever surface?

Thursday, September 27, 2007

5 Month Old Sweetie!

Our little angel girl, Emma, is 5 months old! In fact, she has been since the 18th of this month. (Yes, we are behind on blogging.) Gpa W took this photo of our little sweetheart to show what a happy little lady our Emma is.

A fun little anecdote about this social girl. I had to go to the doctor's office last week, and Emma accompanied me. There were two ladies in the waiting room. Emma fixed her gaze on one and smiled until she had the woman's attention. Then she proceeded to have a little smiling conversation full of "aahs" and "goos". The woman was called back by a nurse, and Emma was distraught at having lost her new friend. She started crying as the woman walked away. That is - until Emma caught sight of the other lady, at which point she picked up her smiling chatter where she had left off. What a social butterfly!


A few months back, sometime around an onslaught of family birthdays, Spencer coined his own phrase, "Happy-lations!" This has become an endearing exclamation for any exciting moment, and we had occasion to use it last Friday when Adam put in his two weeks' notice at Deloitte. That's right. He is living the dream, going with a TRUE start-up business. We are now living the sometimes uncertain albeit very exciting life of entrepreneurs. "Happy-lations, Adam!" (And wish us luck!)

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Relaxed in WV

Relaxed in WV
Originally uploaded by Adam W.
We've fallen a bit behind in blogging since our camera died. However, last weekend we spent a relaxing 24 hours out at Carol and Geary's WV cabin. (Katy, we missed you by just a few hours). Carol (my aunt) sent this picture of my happy, handsome hubby with our sweet kids. There is nothing better than being cuddled up with cute kids on a Saturday morning and reading a book. I believe that at this particular moment I was out on the hammock reading my own book.

It is so nice to break away from the norm every once in a while. What do you all do to relax? Where do you go?

p.s. posted by Marie, via Adam's flicrk account

Friday, September 14, 2007

the non-museum

The Temporary Museum of Permanent Change

I just found this through Deseret News. With all the changes going on to revitalize the downtown of SLC to make it more everything (walkable, shoppable, livable, etc), a group has set up The Temporary Museum of Permanent Change to catalog and invite people to find the interesting, historic, and beautiful objects all around the city. I really like the idea of moving the museum out of the museum. Everyone is a curator! (and how often do you read about urban archaeology? =)

Sunday, September 9, 2007

DT Family Reunion

Originally uploaded by Adam W.
Our friends the Martins (some of the few who truly appreciate yellow kitchen counters that are separated from living spaces only by accordion doors) joined us this evening to root on the BYU Cougars this evening. Sadly, the Cougs couldn't pull off the win, but we had a great time hanging out and admiring how much the kids have grown in the last year. Lucas and Gabey are so big!!! Spencer loved having boys to hang out with and was so happy to be a kitty cat or dog, copying the Martin boys in their play. Thanks for making the drive...and for any who were wondering, we can confirm that the Martins are in VA. Hurrah!

(Sorry we don't have a better quality photo. This is taken with a phone since our camera gave up after taking something like 14,000 pictures. Yes, most of those are of our children and you can basically do a flipbook on flickr to watch them grow up before your very eyes. Any suggestions for a new camera? I'm thinking that's on the wish list this Christmas. Have you all found one you like?)

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Spencer in his cowboy duds

Originally uploaded by Adam W.

Ride 'em, cowboy!

Originally uploaded by Adam W.
Our Spencer has long been an avid fireman fan. He dresses up in his firehat and shouts, "TO THE RESCUE!" then races along on his little red bike to visit the fire hydrant up the street and make sure all is in working order.

However, his attention has turned to cowboys as of late, thanks to an introduction by Uncle Rick - the bank president/cowboy. Uncle Rick has horses and let Spencer ride Pinto. He got all gussied up in the cowboy duds: boots, hat, chaps, coat, and he even had a lasso to carry along. This boy was utterly happy and SO proud of himself as he strolled up and down the gravel driveway. Thank you, Uncle Rick. Even now, Spence loves to review the pictures at the computer (my version of scrapbooking = scrolling through iphoto) and talk about when he rode the horsie. Yee haw!

*Note: this is Marie typing. I just used Adam's flickr account to blog away.

Daisy chain

Originally uploaded by Adam W.
I just had to put this photo up. Isn't our sweetheart precious??? Grammy made this daisy chain for Emma when we were taking our siestas (see Gpa Bezzant in the background) after a picnic lunch along Kings Creek in Lassen Volcanic National Park back in August.

Teriyaki Beef & Vegetables - YUM!

I always appreciate it when friends post recipes that have been successes in their kitchens because I am always looking for good dinner ideas. Here is one we had tonight. I am so pleased that I can make my OWN teriyaki sauce and am no longer tied to the bottle. Here are the goods. Cooking time is really quite fast; it's just the chopping that takes some time. Maybe you all out there in the blogosphere can wield a knife against the carrot foe faster than I. Happy cooking!

1 lb. top sirloin steak
4 carrots
2 medium zucchini
4 green onions, sliced
2 T oil
1 tsp. beef bouillon
2 T cornstarch
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. onion salt
1 T red wine vinegar
3 T soy sauce
1 cup water
4 cups cooked rice (2 dry, 4 cups water)

Cut meat, carrots, zucchini and onions in thin diagonal slices. Heat 2 T oil in large skillet. Add meat slices and cook, stirring constantly, until meat is no longer red, 4-5 minutes. Remove meat to bowl. Cover to keep warm. Add carrots. Cook and stir 3-4 minutes. Add zucchini and onions. Cook for 2-3 minutes.

In saucepan, combine brown sugar, beef bouillon, cornstarch, garlic powder, and onion salt. Stir in vinegar, soy sauce and water. (I whisked this so there wouldn't be any lumps). Cook over medium-high heat until mixture boils and thickens. Add meat and vegetables. Serve over rice. YUM!

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

First Day of School

Today I have not had time to feel the usual pangs that accompany back-to-school time. I am a teacher at heart, and I love the first day of school. I love smelling school supplies and freshly-waxed tile floors, helping kids find their next class, explaining the lunch schedule, figuring out how to pronounce each kid's name (kudos to creative Utah spellers on that one), and launching into another year of learning. This year, in conjunction with everyone else's first day of school, we have started POTTY TRAINING SCHOOL!

And, as always, it is the "teacher" who learns the most. Here are a few of my insights.

1. Procrastination can be retranslated "preparation" when it comes to potty training. We've been thinking about potty training for months. It started by taking the contents of diapers and flushing them down the toilet. That got old fast, but it introduced the topic nicely. Next came sitting on the potty. But that was a bit overwhelming to one so small - so we invested in the Safety 1st 3-in-1 potty. (If I knew how to post a link, I would...maybe later when I am less tired). Then we postponed until after our trip to Utah...and again until we had readjusted to the East Coast time zone and recovered phsically from our trip. As a result, we've been actively talking about potty training for weeks. We were ready.
2. Candy and stickers make for excellent motivators. Perhaps too good. As the day wore on, the trips to the potty became more and more frequent in search of these rewards. But I can't REALLY complain about that on the first day, can I? Spencer got to choose his candy. What was his selection, you ask? After dinner mints. I picked up some Skittles in case those didn't do the trick, but the combination is now a favorite of his. Spence gets one of each with every success.
3. Everyone likes to share their successes. "Let's call Daddy!" I said it the first time, and Spencer took up the exclamation the second time. We both needed a little "hurrah!"
4. The potty trainER deserves treats just as much as the potty trainEE. Suffice it to say that if we DID have ice cream in the house, I would feel completely justified in having consumed it all.
5. Buy underwear BIG; it's easier to pull down in a pinch. 'Nuf said.

More on all of these items later. For now, let me just say that we are finding success - little by little. We are just a day in, and Spence managed to be in the same undies (he says "and-ies") from 9:30-5 or so. Then he got busy playing, and...well, you know how that goes. He was in route, just couldn't move quite fast enough (a few times over). Still...I find myself optimistic for tomorrow. He woke up dry from his nap and ready to go. We'll see if our luck continues to the morning.

Monday, August 27, 2007

grilling is not the same as asado

We invited the three Argentine BYU MBA '09 students and their families over to Grandpa's house for an American bbq (sorry, no asado). I knew Nelson and his wife Lorena on my mission where he was a branch president. I met Dario and Luis this March during a GMAT class in Buenos Aires. They were nice to eat the burgers and chicken I grilled and seemed intrigued by the pink "salad". Weird place this Provo.

grilling is not the same as asado
Originally uploaded by Adam W.

a fish!

a fish!
Originally uploaded by Adam W.
Spencer did his first fishing at Round Valley lake, one of many reservoirs in the Lassen National Forest (a note, I finally figured out the difference between a National Forest and Park, the forests are bigger and free; the parks have the more interesting sights and cost a bit, but only a bit). We figured Spencer was legal to be fishing without a permit since he's under twelve. We just had to keep some other people from doing the same. The Blue Gill in this water were quite obliging as the hooks didn't stay down too long.

Marie's note: The fish basically jump out of the water and onto the line. We also had a fishing pole going for Emma some of the time, since you don't need a permit to fish if you're under 16. It was a wee little pole, but there was generally a bigger person on the other end of it "helping" her to go fishing. I caught my first fish in a LONG time and while posing for a picture, that same fish was unceremoniously flung back and forth in an attempt to get me close to it. I was no good at watching a fish on a hook - one I had lured him with, no less. It made my stomach turn a bit. Learn something new about yourself every day, don't you? Maybe I'm this much closer to being vegetarian...or I'll just continue letting someone else capture (etc.) my food.

More Drakesbad Photos

This fun family photo is from our hike up to Boiling Springs Lake in Lassen National Park. Despite Katy's qualifier that a "hike" must be at least 3 miles, otherwise it is just a "walk" ;0) I think we'll lump this one in the first category. It was one mile up, one back...and when you add in the carriage of one 17 pound baby girl and a 34 pound 2-year-old boy (bless you, Adam) who will not always cooperate with riding on the shoulders...well, that has to make up for at least one mile, right? Thus, it was Emma's first hike. You can see a bit of the sulfur steam coming off the lake. Why is it that sulfurous fumes, while not overtly pleasant, make one feel healthier for having encountered and inhaled them?

One a more pleasant note, we had a fabulous time smelling trees. That's right. Some of you out there are tree huggers, we are tree smellers. There is a particular tree in these forests that smells like butterscotch pudding. Jolene and Mom? What is the name of the tree again? You'll have to tell us in the comments. Regardless, it is one of those that gets the olfactory glands going and sends me down memory lane. We didn't make it to the cabin every summer of my childhood, but I have very fond memories of those summers that did find us in the lands 'round Lake Almanor. One of the first things I do upon returning is roll down the windows and breathe deeply.

Well, Emma, who is on my lap, has just given off a scent that gives me very different feelings. Time for a little diaper change, so I will cut this post short.

This picture below is of some boiling mud along the lake. It is entrancing in person.


hot water*

hot wata
Originally uploaded by Adam W.
On our first full day in California at the family cabin near Chester, we drove up to Lassen National Park. We decided on the Boiling Springs "hike" (yes, Katy, even this one probably doesn't qualify) in the Drakesbad area (isn't that a cool name?). As we hiked we soon found ourselves crossing some mountain streams and even a couple hot springs. Spencer wasn't sure what to make of this smelly, hot water. =)

* this is the first of a series of posts to help us remember the trip we just made to Utah and California. Also, I geotagged the pictures so if you click on the picture and then click on the (map) link on the bottom right you can see where the pictures were taken.


Tuesday, August 21, 2007


Friday, August 17, 2007

Zions National Park

We are in southern utah this week for the shakespeare festival. Today we drove down to Zions National Park with my family. The one "hike" (Sorry to disappoint Katy) we did was to Weeping Rock. Tonight we caught Coriolanus in the outdoor theater.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Off to Utah

Off to utah
Originally uploaded by Adam W.
Here's Marie, Spencer, and Emma as they left for Utah this afternoon. I'll join them on Saturday. (btw, this is the inaugural photo from my camera phone with internet access. I suspect this won't be the last)

Feliz Cumpleanos!

Adam has finally caught up to me in age. He is the big 26 TODAY!!!! We had an early celebration with both sides of the family to celebrate, since the kids and I are leaving today for Utah. (Some birthday present, I know, but the tickets were $60 cheaper, and now that Spencer requires his own seat...that money sure talks!). Here are a few photos of us celebrating this wonderful man who is my sweet husband and the teasing, tickling, laughing, snuggling, chasing, racing, jumping, HANDSOME father of our two little ones.

Emma sure LOVES her Daddy! Just look at that smile.

Adam is the "fireman" at our house, so he got to light AND blow out the candles this time around.

"Heavy, heavy hang over (or is it hangover??) thy poor head; what do you wish this person with a bump on your head?"

This catchy little rhyme is a Wride family tradition. After repeating the words and bopping the birthday boy on the head, you get to hear a nice wish for the giver of the gift. Aaron was obliging enough to do the bopping. Sadly, we only did it for the last gift since I am a convert to the tradition and, therefore, had forgotten. Adam put us back in line. ;0)