i heart summer

This picture is just begging me to document some ‘gifts’… girls. summertime. hot hot hot weather. splashing. laughing. a Pop and Jo that make joy possible, always. beauty in the undone, unfinished, un-ready.  setting an example. embracing roles.  wet hugs. long naps. taking a moment to remember the gifts.


San Diego, we are ready for fun in the sun, ocean views, family, friends, swimming, a quick trip to Vegas, a wild night out on the town, rehearsing, eating, drinking, playing, laughing, cleaning up real nice,  getting beautiful, probably some happy tears and


Photos by K. Mari Photography

dirty girl

Elle is messy. Very.  The only place she is content these days is her high chair and every time she’s done in there she is so unbelievably messy that she needs a rinse- head to toe. The other day, at the end of my rope with our dirty girl, I threw her in the sink.  She was in love.  Gross.  I couldn’t decide if this was OK or not but something tells me it’s not a great idea.  I haven’t done it again since. But, every time Elle glances the sink she claws at it trying to climb in.  Ha. Well, maybe I’ll keep this one in my back pocket for a crazy day.
In the future we’ll be sticking with this kind of bath. I think.

june in full swing

Not only does June hold the date of Elle’s birth, Father’s Day and me and Kurt’s anniversary, but my Mom and his Dad have birthdays just one day apart.  June is PARTY TIME around here!  We’ve had eating out, BBQ-ing, desserts and gifts coming out our ears and it’s been fun fun FUN!
We got to celebrate JoJo and Grandpa this week!
We are so blessed with parents who are so active in our lives.  They are always around to grab a quick cup of coffee or a beer.  To go shopping or to Fudd’s.  To talk or email.  We do not question for a single second that these 2 parents of ours would be, in a seconds notice, wherever we invite them to be.  We love you Jo and Dad!  Happy Happy Birthday!
Love, Dani and Kurt

On the food front:
I LOVE summer BBQ food!  Inspired by my favorite current appetizer at Savoy, we grilled up some bread with olive oil and sea salt.
Kurt (yes Kurt!) made Hummus. Garbanzo beans, olive oil, salt, pepper, cumin and paprika on top.
I diced grape tomatoes, pecorino romano cheese, salami, baby bell peppers, red onion and kalamata olives then dressed it in this Giada De Laurentiis red wine vinaigrette.
It was good.  So, if you invite us to a BBQ this summer you’ll likely get to try this one 😉
Looking for a yummy, hold on – YUMMY – dessert? Head over to Farina for some Butterscotch Budino.  A delicious, not too sweet butterscotch pudding with caramel sauce and a little sea salt crunch.  SOOOOO not my usual dessert craving but after my courtesy bite, I could not stop my spoon from diving in again and again.  While you’re there better try the Chicken Cesar Salad (a special that was so good I think I’ll call in to the owner this week and beg him to put it on the menu) . . . it had the most AMAZING croutons, herb rubbed chicken and avocadoIf you have room after that, maybe throw in a Carni Curate Pizza (well, if you really really like meat).
Can anyone tell I’m hungry this morning?
She got it!  We’ve got a toddling walker.  One month from her first step and she pretty much prefers walking over crawling.  She falls a lot.  She cries a lot. But when she has a good run she is oh-so-proud of herself! 🙂

things I like today pt. 2

Things I like today:

…that 4 years in, this is what our life is.  Honestly though, I looked at this picture and felt O-L-D.  Like, double take- ‘wait, is that a picture of my parents and us when we were little?’  But, a little perspective later- I feel so far beyond blessed that I get to call this my life, that my front yard, those my children, him my husband…
…Father’s Day morning.  It sounded like this, “Ava, want to wrap your gift for Dad? Sure.  Think Dad will like his new shirt?  Of course, he told me his favorite color is purple. Ava, keep your voice quiet. Mom, can I crack the egg.  Just finish decorating your card.  OK. How do you spell Dad again.  Ava, keep your voice quiet. Oops, I added an extra A. It’s fine.  I drew you Mom, look how funny you look.  Can I try the bacon?  What kind of tea did we make dad?  It’s coffee. Ava, keep your voice quiet. Elle, NO! CRASH. Oh crap, nobody move.  Ava don’t walk on the floor.  Elle crawl into the bedroom. Ava call your sister.  Ava open the door.  He’s asleep.  No he’s not, just say Happy Father’s Day.  Happy Father’s Day.  Were you seriously sleeping. No…so, what’d you break?”
This dessert.  My new summer staple.  It’s like a frozen S’more.  Do it!
The little girls endorsed it with ‘yummy sounds’…so did everyone at the table.  Seriously, that good!
…my dad.
…the baby that we constantly have to strip down to her diaper because she is always such a mess.
…Kurt’s new “favorite color” shirt.
…this cute belly and the baby boy we are praying makes a prompt arrival the moment he is done cooking.

swimming buddies

Below: a picture that we envision resurfacing in some 18 years for their senior yearbook.
Aren’t they precious? When Becky and I mushed our babies together in this floaty we had no idea how contentedly and how long they’d float around together.  Our two ‘lively’ babes found rest today with each other. I completely understand the feeling Elle-Girl,  I feel the same way when I hang out with Peter’s Mom 😉
Thanks for the swim date on a sleepy Thursday!

a gift for your enemy

So, if there’s anyone in your life that you hate…
buy them this.
That’s all.  I clearly hate myself, or my husband… but to my defense, when I let Ava pick out her gift for Elle’s birthday I had NO IDEA what I was saying ‘yes’ to.  So, you’ve been warned.  If someone buys this for your child, they don’t like you.  If you buy this for your own child, it’s your own dang fault when you start banging your head into the wall.
And on another note:
Who said girls don’t like mud?  I filled our pink baby pool with clean, warm [90 pitchers worth of hot tap] water, a variety of spoons and bowls for pretend cooking of some sort… and this is where both girls end up.  In our one lone flower pot making mud soup.  As for my nice, pink pool… it was their sink, where they did the muddy dishes. Great.

(this Elle-squat is my most favorite thing of the moment)

My Big Day…

You can take the title how you will…
For the appropriate perspective you can imagine that it is Noelle’s yet to be unveiled voice presenting the blog that will outline the celebrations that surrounded her one year milestone.  OR, you can read and take this title just as it is written… MY (that’s me, Dani’s) Big Day.  Because really, who cares more about the first birthday than the mom who remembers all too clearly the events of one short year ago?  I never would have captured the significance of the first birthday until I had kids of my own.
Now, you know, I am not even a birthday person.  Could seriously do without any kind of birthday hoopla for my own day of birth.  But when my sweet soul sista sent me a gift on “my” special day last week, I was a heap (crying mess- if you were wondering).  I mean, I don’t need a gift or shout out every time one of my babies grows a year older, but that first year… it’s huge.  It’s like a combo platter of, ‘I survived’,  ‘I lost my baby weight’, ‘my baby is crawling/walking/interacting and not really a baby‘, ‘I can see the light at the end of this exhausting tunnel’, ‘I take more than one shower a week (most weeks)’!  It’s happy and sad, it’s a glimpse into how quickly life goes, how fast things change, a reminder that it won’t always be so hard and the urgent need to embrace as many of these precious moments as you can… A big thank you to the sweet heart of my friend who understood that this momma needed a long distance ‘hug’ on Elle’s day.  So, a shout out to all you mama’s on your kid’s first birthdays!
We had a delightful time celebrating One Year!
We invited up our families (that makes us 15 people big) to Pagosa Springs for Memorial Day Weekend to celebrate our Elle girl!  With permission (of course) we took over the Sorenson Cabin and the Herig’s Weekend Rental Cabin for 3 days of fun in the sun wind!  There was 4 wheeling, flower picking, trampolining, sheep shearing…
We were thrilled and so touched that everyone made the trek just to celebrate and reminisce with us!

The Birthday Girl followed right along in her Ma’s footsteps and spent most of the day fussing and crying.  Thanks again God, for pacifiers and for allowing one that matched her birthday outfit perfectly to find it’s way into our possession.  I think God has a sense of humor and gave the fashionista in me this little treasure 😉
It just wouldn’t be a party without me second guessing myself at the last minute… And I am here to say that I’m glad I did.  I hadn’t baked a cake for our gal thinking that a whoopie pie would suffice for her birthday candle-blow and sugar-high.  Morning of… that was not going to cut it.  I baked up a smash cake for our girl and with minimal tools created probably the best looking cake I have ever made.  Sorry for the very public pat on the back- but I had a proud moment. Ha.
Oh boy, were there gifts!  Clothes and a sock monkey, a barn with animals, hats, hair accessories, a helicopter. Wow!  Noelle’s favorite part? You know it, tissue paper.  Seriously, when you are trying to think of what to get a one year old. Paper. They can’t get enough.
Look at all those Daddies hiking with our girls.
This was Ava’s first hike.  Where she actually walked.  She didn’t do much walking.
No trip would be complete without those Herig boys being all buff and dangerous.  It was entertaining. No one got hurt. AND it gave us an excuse to stop, watch and snack!
Kurt and Ava- Peas in a Pod.  Their shared dream that they share daily, that they could fly.
Cousins.  So sweet. Makes me anxious for our new nephew to make his appearance. Excited to meet him and after some l-i-v-e-l-y conversations about his name— I can’t wait to hear what it will be 🙂

There was trampolining.  There was more that one anxious Mom there and more than one not-anxious Mom there.  Can you guess who was which?!
On Elle’s actual birthday, June 1st, we did just a little bit more celebrating.  It was an Einstein’s eating (anyone tried a Pretzel bagel? HEAVEN), walking practicing, gift-opening, pizza eating, park playing, movie watching kind of day.  And it was great!  Happy One Year Baby Girl.