Friday, May 29, 2009

Five Years Ago Today......

If ever there was an ocassion for a kissing picture, I guess it would be today.

Happy Anniversary Micah! I love you!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

She's an eater.

This post is for Noni & Papa and Granbabe & Granstud---people that can appreciate a video of Skylar eating for 46 seconds. (You can scroll down and pause the music at the bottom of the page).

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

A Romantic Getaway

Last weekend Micah and I went to Vail to celebrate our upcoming 5th anniversary! It was our first time leaving Skylar overnight--2 nights actually! Gayle generously flew out to take care of her (it took a lot of convincing, as you can imagine). Skylar had a great time and had no idea we were even gone.

We were so excited to come home and see her after 52 hours away (not that I was counting) and she was like "Oh, hey...I remember you where's my Granbabe!" We missed her way more than she missed us, which is a good thing. Now that we've left her once and it all went so well, we will definitely be doing it again.
We stayed at the relaxing and luxurious Arabelle at Vail Square. We even had a personal butler assigned to our room. We didn't know what to do with him really. Shoe shine? What? We wear chacos...
This was the view of the square from the lobby window:
And on the other side we were just yards from the lift. Not that it made much difference in May.
We had the most amazing chocolate covered strawberries waiting for us in the room. This was also one of the most comfortable beds I've ever slept in. It had so many layers of down it was like sleeping in a cloud. We may have dripped strawberry juice on the nice white duvet within five minutes of getting there.....okay, we did.
This is Micah gazing into the fire and contemplating life. Or maybe just planning his Sasquatch hunting trip on Pikes Peak. That's right.....we saw a special on the History Channel. Big Foot is in Colorado Springs and has been sited on Pike's Peak. We think he does The Incline when nobody's looking.
Probably the highlight for me was the bathroom. In addition to it's heated marble floors, phone, and many spa-amenities, it had an amazing soaking tub with a flat screen TV. I took 3 baths while I was there. Had there been a mini-fridge stocked with diet coke I'd have had no reason to ever leave.
Another highlight was talking to a Bellhop who is also a firefighter. Of course once I heard he was a firefighter I asked him if he knew Ryan Sutter who is married to Trista (from the Bachelorette in case you don't know, which of course you do.) It turns out, Ryan is his Lieutenant and a good friend, so I got to hear all about the Sutters and how normal they are in spite of their celebrity status. I felt like I had the inside scoop, which of course, I didn't because it's not like guys talk about anything good at work so how much could the bellhop really know?
My dreams of laying by the pool were quickly shattered by the cold, rainy forecast for the entire weekend. There was even snow on the slopes:
We decided to check out the rooftop pool anyway. Here's the view from the roof:

The only thing that could tempt me into the water was the hot tub. Micah on the other hand jumped back and forth between the frigid pool and the hot tub, shrieking with glee. It must be the Finnish blood in him.
We found out there was a Blues, Brews & BBQ festival in Beaver Creek, so off we went. It was pouring rain, but we weren't going to let a little bad weather keep us away from some good food. We could smell the smoke and BBQ, but couldn't find a parking spot, so Micah got a little cranky.
The frustrations evaporated as soon as we located a KC tent for Jack Stack where Micah sampled short ribs, brisket and a few other things. I tried smoked salmon (sooooo good!) and pulled chicken (not as good).
We had to huddle under an umbrella on a wet bench to eat our food. Eating a BBQ sandwhich with one hand while holding an umbrella with the other is not a good idea. I dripped sauce all over my jacket (at least I didn't lick it off).
We left soaking wet and reeking of smoke. I thought the waterfall was really pretty:
Monday night we met up with Kristy and Andy, and Gayle took us all to dinner. Here are Skylar and Granbabe watching the ceiling fan. We don't have them at home and Skylar thinks they are AMAZING.
I think this picture about sums it up. It would appear that Kristy is the one enjoying a glass of wine, but not so. She's just happy that school is almost out.......

So we had a fabulous weekend! Much thanks to Nicole and especially Gayle, for holding down the fort while we were gone!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

A little father/daughter bonding

Micah got to skip work and he and Skylar had a father/daughter day at the Pediatric Cardiologists. This was Skylar's 3rd visit, but the first one where her daddy got to lay on the table and watch Sesame Street too (which he thoroughly enjoyed by the way!) They both got ECG's and a few other tests done. I think this teeny-tiny blood pressure cuff is the cutest thing:
The first time she had this test done she was only 2 months old and cried when they pulled all those stickers off her skin. Now she just thinks it's cool. Skylar's results: She still has a little hole in her heart, but it shouldn't cause her any problems. Apparently 20% of the population has the same thing. So she doesn't have to go back until she's 3.
Micah was sent home with a holster monitor for 24 hours and a mesh tank top that made him look like a village people. He wasn't very happy about the fish-net collar that stuck out the top of his uniform. The doctor was pretty excited to see a grown-up with Micah's condition since it's a pretty rare thing and the surgery was new when Micah had it done. He's something of a case study.

Micah's results: His heart looks "normal" for him, everything is working the way it's supposed to and he will have to see a pediatric cardiologist every 2-3 years for the rest of his life to monitor things. He got a letter in the mail with his medical records that was labeled "To the Parent's of Micah P. Rue". After playing with the train set in the waiting room, he may try to see a Pediatrician for everything now. Skylar's doctor's are just way more fun than ours.
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Monday, May 18, 2009

Weekend in Review

It's finally spring in that it's almost summer. Our lilac bushes have been in full bloom. I love them and they smell so good.
I like living in an older, established part of town because we actually have big trees and vegetation in addition to our mountain view. I took this from the living room window:
(NORAD is on the left side in this little mountain in case you care about mysterious government things like that.)

On Saturday morning Amy picked up Nicole and I to do a little yard sale-ing. I've never been much of a yard sale, thrift-store, flea market kind of person because you have to dig through so much junk to find one great deal. However, after discovering the wonders of Craig's List for baby things, I have a new appreciation for the thrill of the hunt. It's the best way to find cheap toys for Skylar. It's not like she's going to play with them for more than two weeks anyway.

I was thrilled to get this push car for FIVE BUCKS:
As you can see, Skylar was thrilled too. I almost got her one for her birthday and now I'm so glad I didn't since this one looks just about new and I saved myself $45.

I spent the rest of Saturday cleaning all of the carpet and upholstery in the house. Nicole took Skylar away on an adventure, Micah vacuumed in preparation for me and I cleaned to my heart's content. I LOVE cleaning carpets. Every 3 months or so I get a professional steam cleaner and do the whole house. Nothing makes me happier than seeing all that dirty water come out. If you've never cleaned your couches before, you'd be amazed at how disgusting they get just from sitting on them. Must be all those dead skin cells....

Nicole is outfitting an apartment so she's been collecting furniture at all of the above mentioned places. She's gotten some really cute stuff! I went with her last week and found this bookcase for Skylar's room for $5 at a flea market:
It's nothing great, but I repainted it and then rearranged her room and organized all of her toys, books and went through her clothes. It's incredible how much stuff a baby acquires in just one year. Thanks to hand-me-downs and my obsession with tiny footwear, Skylar has more shoes than I do and she doesn't even walk yet. Seriously. I might have an addiction.

But how cute are these? I couldn't walk away.
Okay, and these:
I bought these 3 months ago for her dedication and then took them back because I wasn't going to spend $13 for baby shoes. Then last week I was at Target and there was one pair left that just happened to be her new size for $3.25. Clearly this was destiny. How could I say no to a bargain like that?
On Sunday Micah did some bike riding with Kristy and Andy, then came home and organized his tools and did yard work (can you feel the testosterone?) followed by a little swim in our spacious family-sized pool.
Skylar is a little underwhelmed by her kiddie pool after swimming at the Y with it's faux beach, elaborate fountains, whirlpool jets and great big slide. Maybe we'll upgrade to one with seats and cup holders by the end of summer.

Friday, May 15, 2009

A little bit more of Thomas and Marge....

Being the physical specimens that they are, one of the things on Thomas and Margaret's To-Do List while they were here was The Incline. Thomas stayed true to his "Hydrate or Die" motto and pounded water for days in preparation. We waited until they had been here a week and were slightly more acclimated. Then the fateful day came......

I'll admit, I love going up the Incline with new people. Watching their agony distracts me from my own and somehow makes it easier. Micah took Skylar up the Barr Trail in her backpack and met us at the top. I think he had it the hardest hiking almost 4 miles up the mountain with Skylar and all of her stuff!

Mid-Incline, the part where you want to crawl off into the bushes and die:

Thomas is terrified of heights, so looking behind him and enjoying the view while simultaneously feeling a sense of accomplishment at how far we'd come, was not an option for him.
It is a pretty spectacular view though!

We did it in under an hour, not too bad!
Thomas informed us that we had to eat within 30 minutes of working out or our muscles would start eating themselves. With a sense of urgency (I need all the pathetic muscles I have) we divided his 2 cliff bars into 6 peices to save our starving muscles. Skylar enjoyed it the most, even though she was the only one who hadn't exerted herself.
My brother Josh had really wanted to do the incline when he was visiting, but was unable to because of his destroyed knee (from football). He actually had surgery on it again yesterday and they had to take bone from his hip to put in his knee because it's been operated on so many times that there's nothing left for the screws to hold on to. Poor Josh. Keep him in your prayers. He has another surgery on the same knee coming up at the end of the year.
We had a great visit and were sad to see Thomas and Margaret go, especially Skylar who soaked up all the extra attention. Next up is Gayle who'll be visiting in less than a week!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

A Favorite Summer Dessert

I have something of a cookbook fetish. Even though you can get any recipe you could ever need off the Internet, I want a library of cookbooks just because I love them. My cookbooks are also pretty dirty---they look used. You can tell how much I like the recipe by the number of splatters on the page.

One of my favorite cookbooks is Chocolate Holidays by Alice Medrich. I picked it up a couple of winters ago in Seattle and have loved everything I've made from it. Not only does it have yummy and innovative dessert ideas, but they are easy to make and look way more impressive than they really are. I also love that the recipes are organized seasonally, like Warm Chocolate Gingerbread for winter and Chocolate Waffle Ice Cream Sandwiches for summer.

So here is a recipe for one of the most perfect desserts ever. It's light, chocolaty, AND fruity. Best of all, it doesn't make you feel yucky or stuffed--and it's always a crowd pleaser.

Hazelnut Chocolate Meringue with Blackberries

Meringue: 3/4 c. semisweet chocolate chips

1/2 c. hazelnuts, toasted and chopped

2/3 c. sugar

3 egg whites

1/8 tsp cream of tartar

Filling: 1 cup heavy cream

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1 Tbsp sugar

1 1/2 pints of blackberries, rinsed and dried

Beat egg whites and cream of tartar on medium speed until soft peaks form. On high speed, gradually add 1/3 c. sugar, about a Tbsp at a time over the course of 1 1/2 minutes until glossy and stiff peaks form. Fold in toasted hazelnuts, chocolate chips and 1/2 c. sugar just until incorporated. Trace a 9 inch circle onto parchment paper, flip over paper so the outline shows, and spread meringue into outline of circle leaving a raised edge to form a shallow shell. (If your fancy you can use a pastry bag and round tip and pipe a raised border).

Bake at 300 degrees for 10-15 minutes until meringue begins to turn golden. Turn oven down to 200 degrees and bake for 2 hours. Beat cream, vanilla and sugar until nearly stiff. Fill the meringue shell with whipped cream and mound with berries. Refrigerate until needed. Serves 8.

I prefer to use strawberries, or a combination of berries. I also make chocolate whipped cream instead of plain by adding some cocoa powder. If I don't have hazelnuts I just omit them. This dessert could easily be made into individual sized meringue cups, which I have yet to try but I think would be really cute for a dinner party or shower. Enjoy!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Pedi's to the rescue!

Margaret and Thomas have a blog now, and when Marge sent the link to her family via e-mail her sweet Aunt Nancy saw the link to my blog and after reading for awhile deduced that I was in desperate need of a pedicure!

So e-mails were sent to Margaret with strict instructions to get us all pedicures and send her the bill, and not at a tacky place with pink walls either. So Nicole, Margaret and I spent a relaxing afternoon getting pampered and reading In Style, House Beautiful, and other gloriously trashy magazines courtesy of Aunt Nancy while the boys watched Skylar. It was blissful!

My heels thank you Aunt Nancy!

Friday, May 8, 2009

It's the little things.

You just can't put a price on some things. God bless the makers of the family restroom with the little seats to contain children. I can't remember the last time I had such a peaceful bathroom experience, even if there were two little eyes watching me. I could have stayed there all day.
It appears Skylar is working on a mullet. Do I cut it or just be glad she has hair at all?

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Uncle Big-big and Aunt Marge come to town.

Here are a few pictures of Thomas and Margaret's Colorado vacation thus far. Skylar is intrigued by Thomas' beard.
Jack is just as intrigued by Uncle Thomas as Skylar is.
This has been edited, but what you didn't see here was pretty hilarious.
We decided to tour the Olympic Training Center, which was really interesting. We got to see athletes training and even talk to Brandon Slay, a gold medalist in wrestling.
This is a blurry shot of us at the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory. I had to hurry up and take the picture so I could get some before it was gone. Let's just say, if eating caramel apples were an olympic event, we would have gotten a gold.
Of course we went to Garden of the Gods, a Colorado Springs must-see.
Skylar spent about 2 seconds in her baby carrier.
The newlyweds in front of Pikes Peak.

More to come.....


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