Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Gettin' our Garden on...in January?!

Yep, ya heard me...our little family staked our claim to some volcanic-red good ol' Hawaiian dirt by the side of our house on New Year's Day last week. Not only did it feel weird to be outside on New Year's Day in flip-flops, but it was even weirder to be wielding a hoe, digging in the dirt.

We'd had a small garden before at our first house back home when Bubby was a baby and I made his baby food. Now that he's a genuine, bonafide wildman of a three-year-old (and we've moved across the continent & the ocean!) it's time to get serious about da veggies again. I used to think he was sooo, well, gifted since he ate EVERYTHING that I fed him. Including spinach, cauliflower & zucchini?! What baby eats zucchini? Mine did. As in past tense. Which brings us back to planting our garden in January. Enter my new favorite cookbook: Deceptively Delicious by Jessica Seinfeld.


Yep, Seinfeld's wifey. She's apparantly more than his wife, she's a cooking-for-children genius. There's some debate over the origins of her ideas, but hey bottom line the cookbook rocks! The reason I love this book is that it takes fresh fruits & veggies, and sneaks them into kid-friendly recipes for the whole family to enjoy. Mom gets her satisfaction of having pulled one over their eyes, and the poor, unsuspecting kiddos are getting their veggies for the day ~ win, win, right? :)

Basically, we planted this garden in the hopes that it would yield some fresh veggies for our family to munch on, and for me to puree into some fabulous-ly yummy recipes for Noah to enjoy. Now of course when he gets a little older, we'll be the mean parents and do the "you must take x amount of bites before you leave the table!" My mom thinks I am such a mean mom for doing that ;) But for now, while he's in that all-important "I am independent, hear my toddler voice roar" phase, we'll settle for what we can get. So we hauled it down to the Home Depot to pick out some favorites. My mouth is watering over the thought of fresh tomatoes & spinach in just a matter of a few more weeks. As in before everyone at home is even planting theirs. Sorry, that was mean :) Just kidding ;)


We've got lettuce, spinach, peas, carrots, (insert Jenn-ay joke here. No really, go ahead. I've been dealing with that since the 7th grade. ;), watermelon, canteloupe, pumpkin, onions, and tuh-ma-toes. YUMMMM! I cannot wait to make a salad from my own garden, with fresh (& free!) healthy ingredients!

Here's Noah "helping" Daddy ~ how does he sit like that?!


Here's me doing my teacher-writing thang on some name plates so we can remember what we planted & where. Please don't judge my bad hair day or lack of makeup, it was a lazy holiday ;)


And here he is helping put name plate-thingys in the ground. Such concentration ;)


Yes I know our fence color is um, blah. That's the Army for you ~ they ran out of green & threw the rest of what they had on our house ;) But I'm working on making the inside cute! And yes that's a blob of spray paint on the grass, I'm always making over something out there with spray paint ;) The poor grass has been silver, red, blue, etc. What can I say, we're redneck imports to these here parts...anyways, here's a shot of our little plot-o-dirt "after all Katy-Scarlett, land's the only thing that lasts!" (Name that movie!) This is our family project, week one. Check it out, if you look closely you can see peas, carrots, lettuce & a few other teeny-tiny blooms. YAHOO! Yum...my hope for this project is that we'll all have some fun in the dirt first of all, and second to (fingers crossed) inspire Noah to want to reap what he has "sown." Hey, a momma can hope, right? :)


Check back soon, I promise to have some garden updates ~ it's even one of Noah's "chores" now to water the "punkin' patch" as he so affectionately calls it ~ but I love that it seems to be his favorite chore ;)

xo,
Jen

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Project 365 - Week #1!

Aloha! Can you believe it's January 9th already?! Yeah, me either...craziness. How are you guys doing with resolutions? I actually have stuck to mine ~ now that's craziness! ;)

One of my res-o-lutions that was very important to me is my very own Project 365, a picture for every day of the year. How cool will that be as a digital scrapbook at the end of the year? Or a daily shot of our lives across the ocean for family & friends? I'm already lovin' it, I've always been one who's like "where's the camera when you need it?!" And after just a week, I love how I can look back and remember where we were, what we were doing, and how we felt when the picture was taken. But enough rambling, it's picture time! :)

Day #1 ~ I WISH I'd had enough sense to wake up and take a picture of the very first sunrise of the year, but oh well. Maybe next year :( Instead, I captured my two favorite reasons for doing this project. I love them with all of my heart, and they are why I'm determined to stick with my resolutions, and become the wife & momma that I know I can be this year! Check them out here during a family naptime on a lazy day ;)


Day #2 ~ We drove up to North Shore to buy some Pottery Barn Kids shelves for Bubby that we scored on Craigslist ~ see, I remember all of that from a picture! :) We stopped & ate some lunch on Hukilau Beach, and I got picture-crazy. Kiki came with us (yeah, our dog is our baby :) and she was the subject of my camera-frenzy. This isn't the best picture, but I think it's the one that captures our sweet puppy's face the best!


Day #3 ~ If you haven't already, check out the video of Noah climbing the fridge :) It's guaranteed to at least put a smile on your face, I hope. Anyways, I thought it worthy of a picture as well ~ so here he is with his prized "camy came." Haha! :)


Day #4 ~ Noah scored a Thomas "grooming set" for Christmas, complete with shaving cream & a razor ~ so here he is in the shower with Daddy "shaving." Oh my word, was it hilarious to see him, he loves to be just like Daddy, and I am so grateful that I have such a wonderful hubby for him to look up to and want to emulate. That's an everyday occurance, so it was only fitting for it to be the day's picture. There's also a rare shot of his hair flat ~ can you see the curls poking out the side though already? ;)


Day #5 ~ We went to the gym that day, it was the first time I ran 25 minutes (without stopping!) for our C25K training. (SO proud!) How do I remember that? Well, my picture of the day was taken at the gym ~ here's Bubby & two of his bestest buddies, Logan & London. They were sitting so cutely on the bench in front, and then Noah says "these are my friends, Mommy! This is Logan, and this is London!" Now, that might not seem like a huge deal to anyone else, but it was to me ~ I've been working HARD with Noah to say his sentences right, before he would've just said "mommy, my friends Wogan & Wondon." I know, I know but it's my inner teacher coming out :)


Day #6 ~ I got to go to the library by myself. If you're a momma, you know the meaning of the italics. Ahhh, it was lovely :) And on my way to said library (to print out activities for lil' man no less) I decided that the cool clouds that always hover over the valley that is Helemano Military Reservation would be sweet to share for my Project 365 that day. It's the middle of the afternoon, but sometimes the cloud cover is so dark that when it meets the sun it's very pretty. Or at least I think so. Until it's so cloudy that my "eco-friendly" solar-heating leaves me with a less than luke-warm shower. Grrr. :)


Day #7 ~ This one's for my Dad. I miss him, I love him, and I can't wait to hug him. (insert crying noises here.) :( All around the base lately we've seen TONS of cars all did up with their favorite team flags flying proudly out the backseat windows, and decals on the side. It is football season, ya'll. But I can honestly say I'd never noticed a Chicago Bears fan "proudly" displaying their goods. Until today. Sorry it's grainy, it was taken out the window, but this. picture. must. be. taken. That's what I told Bryan anyways as I made him turn around so I could take my shot. So Dad, here's to you and B and all the other crazies who still claim to love Da one & only Bears! :) xo

So whaddya think of Week #1? Please let me know! Is anyone else doing Project 365? How do you get your daily inspiration? I think I hear mine coming in the door from the store right now, I better head down & make my "boys" some breakfast :) Hope you all had a fabulous first week of Twenty-Ten! :)

xo,
Jen

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Fridge Climbin'!

Sooo, I caught Noah with a candy cane stick today in the hallway ~ the only thing is we keep those on top of the fridge!? After making sure he had all limbs intact & no contusions, I ran downstairs to figure out how he did it ~ I found a kitchen chair he must've pushed into the kitchen from the dining room up under the fridge. How could I be mad at that ingenuity?! I could not stop laughing, but you could tell by his face he knew he was in t.r.o.u.b.l.e. I still couldn't figure out how he could reach from there, so I asked him to "show me" how he did it. Here's what he said ;)
video

My Amazing Journey of 2009

Remember the absolutely wonderful adventure my fabulous sister Tori created for me last year, complete with clues & prizes? If you need a refresher, or missed those posts in my um, rather inconsistent posting over the past year (sorry!) check them out here, here, here, and here. I completely left you hanging seven months ago (yee-ikes I know!) as to what happened with my next clue. Well, the clue if you remember said that my next one was at Lanakai Beach. However, Tori actually left it with her friend Eve for safekeeping, along with my very first prize! So late in May, after Eve's husband returned from deployment, I headed over to the windward side of the island to track down my next clue. Here it is!

Remember how mad you were
that they didn't have your size?
Well trust me, they have it
Trim the butt, abs & thighs.

I admire you
and all that you do
so I'm trying to help you
be the best you of you.

One message left now
one final surprise.
Back up Koko Crater
Give it another try.


The "they" she's referring to is a um, ah certain boutique that has a secret. We'll just leave it at that :) So enclosed in the envelope was a hefty gift certificate to said boutique. Yahoo! Which meant even more to me because at that time, my sis was in college with not a whole lot of moo-lah to spend on big ol' me. Anyways, back to the clue. At first, I was like are you kidding me?! Koko Crater?! Again?! She hates me. :) But then I felt challenged. Heck yeah I can do this again. After all, Tori only climbed it once. ;) How'd she leave two clues up there? That smarty-pants took two up with her and hid them both at the same time. Grrrrrrrrr ;) But have I climbed it again in all these past few months? I'm really, really ashamed to say no :(

A lot has happened in those seven months. We went home to visit. Twice. We flew our fur-baby out here. I was consistent going to the gym. I was inconsistent going to the gym. Homesick out the ying-yang. In between all of that I was helping raise the world's cutest lil' man and supporting my wonderful hubby in his crazy job. And before I knew it, it was Christmas. And we weren't going home. I'm not going to lie, the last two months full of holidays has been hard away from home; and I'm extremely grateful we had each other. But I'm tired of making excuses for myself. There really are none. Am I proud of the accomplishments I made last year? Heck yeah I am! I would have NEVER probably taken the initiative to better myself at all if it hadn't been for Tori's "quest." And I thank you from the bottom of my heart for that sis! That was my once in a lifetime opportunity & eye opener that I needed. I love you, and I'm sorry I let you down. But here's what I have learned about myself:

I CAN climb mountains. Three times, in fact.
I CAN go down a pants size, and go right back up. (Boo!)
I CAN give up my beloved Mt. Dew. (RIP.)
I CAN get up in the morning and head to the gym.
I CAN run. No, seriously. I didn't think I'd ever like it, let alone do it.
I CAN train for a 5K. The program's called Couch to 5K, pretty appropriate.


So all in all, 2009 wasn't too bad. We moved across a continent AND an ocean, we traveled ALOT, and learned to become our own little family. I hope this doesn't sound corny, but I feel like last year was a necessary stepping stone in my journey to a better me. So here's to 2010, where one of my resolutions is to continue in my weight loss journey, especially before Linz's big day in July, woohoo! :) I am so thankful for friends & family who love me for me, and wouldn't change a thing about me. Love ya! Stay tuned for my very first week of photos for Project 365, I've got some pretty hilarious ones! ;)

OH P.S. ~ I'm hoping to start off the year right by heading back up the dreaded Koko Crate ASAP! Keep your fingers crossed that my final clue is still there! :)

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Mele Kalikimaka!

Alooooha! After a very busy month of wrapping presents, mailing said presents, and drying buckets-o-tears, our first Christmas away from home has come & gone. I don't want to wish our lives away, but I can honestly say I'm glad it's over. Luckily we have some fabulous friends who took us into their family for the holidays. On the beach no less. Yeah, ya heard me. Don't be hatin'. Hehe. Kinda like I was when everybody was posting on Facebook about how they were goin' to GG's for Christmas Eve dinner. Homemade potato salad, Mom's chili cheese dip & GG's homemade FUDGE, oh my! Yeah, I was jealous. But I still love you all. :) Here's some pics of lil' man & our casa getting ready for the holidays in our 80ish degree weather. I did have fun decorating our new house for the holidays, last year's holidays were hard to get into since we were getting ready to move. Most of my cheap-o holiday decorating inspiration came from Young House Love and Bower Power's amazing DIY websites. If you haven't checked them out & you're into decorating like I am, you got to head over their way asap! :)



Also, there's some pics of our beautiful island, as requested by one of my fav uncles, Uncle Steve. It was his suggestion to rub it in to all of my snow/sleet/ice-bound, er I mean lucky family & friends who "get" to live back home in good ol' Illinois. So here's to you Uncle Steve :)



This new year brings many changes & new beginnings to our little family ~ just one of my numerous resolutions is to keep this blog updated more, I'm always amazed & excited at who takes the time out of their busy day to check in on us! More posts coming later this week about my other resolutions, and a long-awaited update on my very own "Amazing Race" around Oahu, courtesy of my lil' sis :) Just to refresh your memory, check out my other updates from my "clues" that took me all around the island, right here, here, here, and here. Love you all & wishing you a very Happy New Year!

xo,
Jen

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Noah-ablo Picasso

I was brave a few weeks ago and let lil' man paint ~ I threw one of Daddy's old t's on him, he had a ball, and I tried not to care about the mess ;) Picasso he is not, but his paintings are priceless to me! They are even frame-worthy, and I always try to date each one with a note of what he was doing, or what he says it is ;) Enjoy some silly faces by Noah!

xo,
Jen

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Best Buds

Noah & Kiki are rarely, far apart ~ they've been best buddies since Bubby came home from the hospital, and our first "baby" loved her lil' brother on the spot :) Here they are hanging out in Noah's McQueen tent that he got from Aunt Tori & Scott last year for Christmas. Sorry for the blurry pictures, our camera was on the fritz & died on Bubby's birthday (of course it did! Grr.) So a new camera that can keep up with a certain now three year old is on our wish list this year from Santa :)


Nap time with blankie ~ can I just say that we totally have a Linus on our hands?! We call him a cross between Linus & Pigpen, since his curly locks totally "hover" around his head.


And here's a parting shot of my two men hammin' it up in the tent ~ sometimes I wonder who has more fun in that toy room, Daddy or Noah .... :)