Tuesday, July 28, 2009

San Diego 2009

It's that time of year again, folks! Walsh Family Reunion 2009 has come and gone. What an amazing trip we had. Seriously so much fun, it totally makes flying with a 30 pound badger on your lap worth it. Yeah, I won't go into the flight because everyone who has flown with a toddler knows what I'm talkin' about. And if you haven't flown with a 30 pound badger (excuse me, toddler), you've been on a plane with one. However, a big shout out to Jet Blue for awesome free access to DirecTV. Conor was distracted from flailing about like a mad man by Dora and Diego for at least, like, 4 or 5 seconds.

The weekend though was great. We flew into Long Beach Airport (what up, LBC!) and rented a car (a toyota Yaris--seriously the smallest, most gutless car ever created. We're in Southern California so we're going 80 down the freeway ("when in Rome" and all) and I swear the car very nearly fell apart. I actually think the car is no bigger than a queen sized bed. And I'm being VERY genrous here. But...we drove about 250 miles in the thing and still had over a quarter tank of gas left. But wait, I digress) and drove into San Clemente to meet Ryan, Josie and the kiddos at the Rainbow Sandals Outlet so everyone could buy some overpriced sandals. Yeah, so I don't get it. Why spend $40 on flip flops? Morgan's reasoning is that they will last for five years. Great. However, I bought a pair of sandals at Target four years ago for $3.99 and those bad boys are still going strong. Whatever.

We then went down to the pier (harbor?) in Dana Point to look at the boats. Wow, did the boys love that! Conor kept saying a-boot?, a-boot?, a-boot? Dang, he is one smart cookie! After a-boot?s we went to Pizza Port for the WORLD'S GREATEST PIZZA. Also had a beer which I proceeded to sweat out in the 800% humidity on the coast (what, too much information?). We made it back to Tom and Lyn's soon after. The pictures tell the story best from here.

Sweet lil' Anna in the pool.

The house. Doesn't it look like some fancy resort? Folks, this is where Tom and Lyn LIVE. We stayed there for FREE!

My heart actually does a little jump in my chest and i get butterflies in my tummy when I see this pictures. That's right ladies, hands off. This one is mine.

Anna takes her writing very seriously. Is she just the cutest or what?

Kids very focused on their toys.

Bath time with JT and Conor. JT kept 'helping' by dumping huge cups of water on Conor's head. he's a trouper though and he took it. And then said "again?".

Buckwalter Family members chillin' poolside (yep, i just said 'chillin''.)

I guess they are catching up here. This was my attempt to document the festivities.

Conor and I swimming on our last morning. He LOOOOOOVES the water.

"Smile, dammit!"

Conor's first experience with sand. He and Anna played quietly and nicely for 45 minutes.

I wish I had been able to get a better picture. They both just look pissed off that I interupted their sand castle building.


It only took 10 minutes or so to wrangle this shot.

Conor loves to jump in the water.

"Here i come, Mama!"
I can fly! (not sure why this presents as a link. It doesn't go anywhere)Baby fist bumps. Look at the look on Conor's face. he could not be more in love with his cousin.

Just lookin' at the boats

Yep, he's the cutest.

Pictures like this make me wonder, "why don't we live in Southern California?"

See ya later, folks!


We went camping a few weekends ago. It was our first time camping together as a family and also the first time Morgan and I have been camping since we met. We both come from camping families and love to camp but for whatever reason, this was our first foray into the wildnerness together. I think I can safely say that we had a wretched time. Horrible. Dreadful. Rotten. Which is not to say that we won't go camping again. In fact, we decided that we're going to pretend this trip didn't happen and NEXT trip will be our first trip together. See how we can just thwart reality like that? Its the foundation of any good marriage.

I think the main problem was lack of preparation. The fact is, we have a kid now (Conor, remember?) and we can't just hop in the car at the spur of the moment and have a good time camping. From out trip it became clearly evident that camping with a toddler requires a reserved spot in a park, not a random (albeit SPECTACULARLY beautiful) spot on a lake. It requires planning on who is going to bring what and who is going to take what home. It requires bug spray with DEET. I don't know what DEET is, all I know is that the DEET free insect repelent is similar to no repelent at all.

So, all complaining aside we do plan to go camping again soon. In like, four or five years...
This is before we decided we hated each other and would NEVER go camping AGAIN!

Look at the dirty little tootsies! Awww...

Tucker, on the other hand, had a glorious time. He frolicked in the lake, ate pine needles, baked beans and squirrel poop. When we got home, he proceeded to throw up all the pine needles and relieve his apparent stomach pain all over the house. Nothing better than cleaning up dog poop at 6am. Who's jealous?

But, it sure is pretty.

Yeah, I guess we'll go back after all.


I go on and on about Conor on this blog (and me too) but I don't often show you all what Morgan has been up to. He's working for a company called Acme Scenic and Display and right now they have a contract with an amusement park in the Bay Area called Happy Hollow (is it just me, or is that the cheesiest name?). They are doing some pretty big renovations and Morgan's company has been contracted to do all the metal work. He's been building signage that looks like leaves, he's working on a metal dragon and most recently, he completed what he calls the Paul Bunyan shovel. He built it all by hand, no tracing, copying, or cookie cutters involved. How cool is he?

This is what TIG welding looks like. Please do not ask me what TIG welding is. I do not know.

Did I already post the wine rack pictures? If so, this is just to remind you of how freaking cool my husband is.

Saturday, July 11, 2009


Hi all,

We've had a busy few weeks around here! It all started a few weeks ago when the three of us drove out to Sauvie Island to go berry picking. We only got the tail end of the strawberries but had perfect timing for the blueberries and raspberries. Conor had such fun running in between the bushes and stuffing himself full of berries. I think he easily ate 6 pounds of berries that afternoon. Then, he kindly returned at least three pounds, if ya know what I'm sayin'!

We got home and I made two batches of strawberry jam, two batches of raspberry and froze enough blueberries so we'll have blueberry pancakes for life if we want them. There is something so soothing for me about making jam. Its like this old timey tradition of picking food and storing it away for the winter. Not that our jam will last into the winter. I give it until end of fall, tops.

And speaking of picking...the peas in our garden are going crazy! Conor loves to wander over to the garden and say "pea? pea? pea?". Usually he takes one bite and feeds the rest to Tucker. At least he gets a few vitamins. We are having a lot of fun with our garden this year and, for first time gardners, I'd say we're doing pretty well. We just ate one of our carrots earlier this week in a salad, our peas are going crazy and we've got one yellow squash just about ready for picking. We're really looking forward to our pumpkins though which have all but taken over the garden. Perhaps its a good thing so many of our other veggies were carried off by birds and squirrels.

The week before 4th of July, Conor and I spent four days up at Niki's family's cabin just outside of Madras. Its in a beautiful spot overlooking the canyon which more than makes up for the lack of plumbing or electricity. I've been going for years with Niki and other assorted friends but this is the first time we ever took the kiddos. We spent the first day down at the lake and, while Conor normally loves any water, he was a little uneasy in the lake. Maybe its because the water was just above freezing cold, or maybe it was the slope or maybe the sand. At any rate, he preferred sitting near the shore and splashing. He looked so grown up to me in his little swimtrunks cruising along the shoreline. The second day we drove down through Bend and into Sisters for a picnic in the park. On our way, we passed a beautiful new building that turned out to be the local fire department. Rob, Niki's husband, asked for a tour and we were able to see all the firetrucks, the pole (whoo hoo!) and the whole fires tation. Such fun! I only wish Conor was a little older so he could have enjoyed it more. He sure did love sitting in the fire truck and "driving" it though! (Unfortunately, we all forgot our cameras that day so no pictures to document the fun.)
Conor and Addi and a lakeside snack.

After the fire station, we made it to the park. For a while the kiddos played on the toys and then we started a marathon game of freeze tag. I forgot how much fun it is to just run around while being chased by a five year old. Its strangely liberating.
Addi feeding Conor some freshly picked blueberries. Aren't they so cute together?

Morgan had July 3rd off from work and since the weather was absolutely gorgeous, we headed down to Jamison Square in the Pearl District. Jamison Square is the quintessential urban park. It occupies one city block and is surrounded by cute shops and fancy restaurants. And Starbucks. Of course.Look how busy this place gets. Don't you love the guy in the foreground with the video camera? And the lady near the center of picture who is fully clothed yet soaking wet sitting in the water?

Just thought this one was cute.
Look at the little man. It looks like he's modeling for J. Crew or something.
Making new friends
Look at the way I'm holding his arm. You better stand still for this picture, kid.
Kisses!Daddy is slightly more tolerable to be photographed with than Mommy.

On the 4th of July we had a barbeque with Kristen and Keenan and Mom and Art. Morgan and Keenan went out and bought yard games so we played several games of Baggo and a realllllllly long game of croquet. Yeah, croquet is hard. About 8:30 Conor was expressing his tiredness so I put him to bed while Morgan and Keenan set up the (illegal) fireworks they had bought on a trip to Washington. Being the nervous Nellie I am, I was super uneasy about having (illegal) fireworks in our front yard. I could just picture the police storming down our street and arresting Morgan while Conor and I hid in the backyard. Well, the police must have had bigger fish to fry that night because they left us alone and we had quite the show. All the neighbors were out and fireworks were everywhere. Just one more reason why I love our neighborhood.
My best attempt to wrangle a picture of Conor in his super cute 4th of July outfit.

Oh, and in the midst of the fireworks, Keenan proposed to Kristen! Whoo hoo!

So, while we've been busy playing, Morgan has been busy working. He built a series of wine racks for my Mom's wine room of a steel frame and wood pegs to support the wine bottles. All together it will hold just under 400 bottles of wine. All together there are 768 wooden pegs. All together there are nearly 1600 screws. On top of it all, once Morgan began to assemble to whole thing, he realized that it would look so much better if each wooden peg was sanded. So, go back to those 768 pegs and sand. ALL OF THEM. It was a massive project and it looks absolutely stunning now that it is finished.

The finished product.

Close up of interior.

Close up of top row.

As soon as he was done with the wine racks, he got to work making a chandelier for a local salon. Its nearly impossible for me to explain what it looks like so you'll just have to wait for pictures. All this to say that my husband is rad and I love him. Seriously? How cool is that stuff? Made with his own two hands?

So, as I've said, we've been busy. And the summer has barely started. We'll be off to San Diego in about a week and a half for the annual Walsh Family Reunion. We are so looking forward to seeing everyone again. We've been doing lots of video chats with Papa and Gaga and Conor easily recognizes them now. He walks around the house with his cell phone going "hi, papa. hi, gaga." over and over and over again. We also put together a slide show of pictures from our AZ trip in May and he loves to watch the pictures of TT (JT) and Nana (Anna). I'm excited that he knows who his cousins are. He'll have so much fun playing with them.

Alright folks, my fingers are going numb from all this typing and most likely you've either tuned out or stopped reading altogether. If you're still here, I thank you. Hope you're having an awesome summer too!