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! 🙂

happy happy

Happy Birthday Uncle Kev!  22. I sometimes get bombarded with memories of you as a little tweenager. Playing your guitar. Slamming doors and yelling. Running around in your pj pants and no shirt. Snacking, always snacking… well I actually still associate you with the snacking thing 😉 But really, you have grown up to be such a cool human- ‘tight roll’ pants and all.  One whose opinions I can not only stomach, but appreciate. You are your own person, always. Someone who understands me a little better than the others. You love your family and don’t even realize that in doing that you are setting an example I want to follow.  Someone truly compassionate (I will never forget the time you made us bring that homeless man and his dog some Taco Bell after we went out to dinner- and how you asked Dad for 5 bucks so we could do it). Such a talented musician. A fun uncle who reads and plays and shares.  Thanks for letting us be part of your life.

Cupcakes and Yo Keva and Blue Bell, Oh My!

Just a little Popcorn (that everyone said they’d be just fine without) and some Guesstures and Trivial Pursuit Junior.

Love you baby bro!


the first 28

For these 28 and about a billion more, we love you and pray you have a blessed 28th birthday today!
A list of things about Kurt that I just love 🙂


loves our babies more than anything.

laughs out loud, daily.

leaves and enters our home with a kiss for all 3, every time.

loves it when we do girly things.

works hard.

loves music.

loves airplanes.

never stops sharing things that interest him.

‘plays’ (mostly dolls, doctor and kitchen)  most every moment he is awake and at home.

reads stories, with all the voices.

loves me.

believes in me.

believes God.

thinks that family dinner is a priority.

thinks that family, all of it, is a priority.

is conscious that what he is modeling our children will learn.

wants to be better, always.

humors me and my love for reality television.

loves all things sports and electronics.

never says no to pizza.

asks “why?”, often.

likes to drink beers and play games.

had a biggest gainer contest with me when I was pregnant, and held his own.

swears he loves my cooking.

doesn’t walk past a pile of laundry without starting to fold.

doesn’t get mad that I hate emptying the dishwasher, I don’t think I’ve emptied a load.

loves outings, zoo, park, walk, hike, drive, shopping-he’s always ready to go.

likes to laugh before bed, so we are watching ‘friends’ for the 5th (or so) time all the way through.

Thank you for loving us in a way that we never ever question it…

I love you Kurt, Happy Birthday!

A finger-lickin’ fun birthday

Happy Birthday PaPa!

Fifty one years. You are positive.  You are fun.  You love to eat.  You are THE Keva Man.  You are selfless with those you love most.  You understand patience.  You practice what you preach.  You love music.  You love God.  You have a heart for the future of this world.  You are a strong man.  You have never let much define you, age, circumstance, obstacle.  You love Mom A LOT. You love us A LOT. These are just a couple of the reasons we love to celebrate you in 2011!

Look what a beautiful cake Jo and Ava made for PaPa- German Chocolate with Kisses and M’s!  What this picture didn’t capture was Noelle’s cake-dive, thank goodness Jo’s pretty quick!

Gosh, What a cute pair!

Us girls and the birthday guy!

Doritos… I’m pretty sure Tug wasn’t the only one who was slayed by the “Finger Lick” Super Bowl commercial?

This baby really loves her pass…

Another close call on the cake-diving-baby!

Ava couldn’t stay away from the birthday attention! Now where does she get that from?

Though we seem to take this picture often… leather couch, beers on the table, kids piled all around, baby not paying attention, remnants of our lunch or brunch or dinner in the background…  EVERY time, I feel blessed to call these beautiful people my family!  Happy 51st Dad!


She’s 3!

Can't believe our beautiful princess is 3! Cheers Ava Girl!

"Hot chocolate, a bagel with pink frosting and sprinkes ('that's a donut Ava') and an egg sandwich, please!" This is what Ava ordered at Starbucks for her Birthday breakfast!

Here's a preview of many, many hours of scanning-checking out fun at the pretend grocery store!

Great Nana made a special trip to bring Ava a birthday gift!

Ava loved her birthday mail! This one was a special treat from our L.A. family!

Toy Story 3!!! Ava's first movie and movie date with her favorite guy Brody!

Chick-Fil-A birthday dinner! (Ava's pick!)

Oh, our aunt Jess knows her so well!

Birthday cupcakes with FOOTBALL RINGS on top! (dad's pick!)

Our little dancing girl!

Our birthday craft: painting wood letter magnets to hang on our fridges!

Loved their matching black and white 🙂

Ready for some cold weather playin'... in style!

happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday dear Ava, happy birthday to you!!!

Yay! Ava was a pro at the clothespin drop game!

What a fun birthday celebration! But, we missed our Grandpa!

He’s 25!

Happy Happy 25th Uncle Mitch! We should probably just call October 17th National Whoopie Pie Day!


Birthday Buddies!


Oh the Preperations…

Our Ava will be 3 on Friday!  In many ways I can’t believe it…3… but in others it feels like I’ve know this little sweetie for my whole life.  We are so excited to celebrate her this year, especially since it seems that for the first time she understands what’s going on.  She knows about birthday’s and parties, she knows how old she will be, she knows that her birthday is October 25 15 (every time we ask her when her birthday is she says ‘October 25th?’) and she knows ALL about gifts… I did some research on 3 year old’s looking for some ideas for how we could best celebrate her on her special day.  The thing I found that really spoke to me said that with these little ones it is really all about the preparation.  Though they will no doubt love any kind of party or event that you plan for their day, they will mostly remember the details of how you got ready for it all.  So in our house this week we have been focusing on preparing for turning 3!  Here’s a little bit of what we’ve been doing:


Hanging some decorations



Preparing for a craft that we will do with some of our uncles and aunts



decorating and filling treat bags for our movie date with cousin Brody



Making and packaging some Butterfinger Lollipops for everyone who helps us celebrate


*as a side-note, I was blog hopping one day and ran into this blog.  This blogger swore that using only candy corn, peanut butter and chocolate she could make something with the taste and texture of Butterfingers… now, Butterfingers aren’t even my favorite candy bar but I thought I’d try out the easy, cheap recipe just to see… WOW- it is amazing!  I was skeptical, but the finished product was dead on and I am embarrassed to say that I keep sneaking into the freezer for another taste (just to make sure it really does taste butterfingerish)!


decorating some boiled eggs that we will eat for our birthday brunch


What a wonderful way to make a birthday really feel complete!  When this week is over we will be Birthday’d  out!!! Well, that’s the plan anyway 😉

Hellooooo Late 20’s!

Around here we like to make Birthdays last all week long!  The celebration for my 28th (AHHHH!) started just a little early with a special dinner and surprise (Gluten Free) birthday cake at PaPa and JoJo’s before they left for 3 weeks in Italy!

My last day as a 27 year old = a trip to the NM State Fair!  This trip was made complete with a quick trip through the Red Barn (it was too stinky according to Ava), Ava’s first corn dog (loved it), AND a BIG bag of Kettle Corn that I (along with a tiny bit of help from the fam) polished off in 2 days!

Happy Birthday Morning! Wow I look sleepy but I’m smiling because what this picture doesn’t show is the Venti coffee Kurt woke up extra early to run out and get at Starbucks!

Kurt and I went out for a fun dinner at Farina… I REALLY missed the pizza with this whole Gluten Free thing but my salad was good and the company was delightful!

Gosh our baby is SO cute, I know I’m not biased at all 🙂

This shot is for you  Jo… You will be happy to know that Kurt brought a candle along with us to dinner just so he could make sure that I blew out a candle ON MY ACTUAL BIRTHDAY!  I know I make fun of my mom for how dramatic she is about this tradition but truth be told it has attached itself to my heart and it makes me smile that on some level (probably one that wants to avoid needless birthday tears from me) Kurt has embraced his role as the one that makes the birthDAY candle craziness happen!

We sang and blew out this candle quite a few times trying to capture a great (one where I looked acceptable) picture… Though not my best photo moment,  I love this shot because my Ava girl snuck out of her room (a good hour after she was supposed to be asleep) to see what all the singing was about and said, “I want to sing to my mom!”

“The Kids” as I’ve come to affectionately call my Brothers and Future-Sisters-In-Law

planned and prepared a delicious

28th Birthday Dinner for me!

We all dressed ourselves…

and drooled all over ourselves

and over the most wonderful meal!

Though the parents are over sea’s we enjoyed the celebration in OUR home which made it so comfortable and special!

Gift time was maybe one of the most amusing ones to date…

especially when much to my delight I received a GO GIRL… if you don’t know what that is, I will let you research on your own! We all had a good laugh and I am PUMPED for the endless opportunities I now have for easy outdoor goin’…

Ava was maybe the most off the wall any of us have ever seen her… Oh how I love watching the ones I love enjoy an evening!

The birthday celebration didn’t end there…

My lovely Ma and Sis-In-Law took me out for my very first “Tea” Experience at the St. James Tearoom! I had no idea what to expect and I was just floored by the fancy, girly, delectable fun of the whole experience!

I was even allowed to eat every single thing thanks to their Gluten Free Menu Option… How cool to not have to miss out on one yummy bite!

It was so much fun to share this time and give Jess a chance to share Emrys’ beautiful wood workings throughout the entire restaurant!  I have to take this opportunity to thank Jess for making sure that not one year went by without some serious waterworks…but seriously, that was wonderful of you Jess, taking the time and effort to prepare such a beautiful letter for me… though I was trying to break the spell and not cry this year I actually ended up giving Kurt and then myself a good laugh- apparently I’m pretty funny when blinded by tears 🙂

Another year down and I am just reminded how blessed and loved I am.  Thank you family for knowing me and celebrating me accordingly!