Looking Closer
You may be wondering why I'm reposting the picture of our family at Breckenridge. (Note: In Colorado, a lot of people refer to Breckenridge as "Breck". For some reason this drives me crazy and I never, ever do it. It's one thing to call Cape Cod the "Cape." That's a witty nickname and everyone in the United States knows what that means. "Breck" sounds like some kind of exclusive club that is for weenies. Maybe it's just me, but now you know.) I digress. I was looking at the family photo from Summer 2011 and noticed something. My kids are getting tall. I'm 5 foot 7. Carver is almost up to my ear and Lily is at my shoulder. I don't know exactly when this happened, but happened it has. I'm happy to report that Zinabu is right at my boobs, so every time he hugs me he's squishing me, but at least he's below my neck. They just keep growing.(My kids. Not my boobs.)


Highlights From Breckenridge
Friday morning I picked Carver up at camp (you've never seen a happier mama) and we drove back to Breckenridge to meet up with David and spend the rest of the weekend there. Carver had THE BEST WEEK EVER (his words) and WAS REALLY UNHAPPY TO LEAVE (my observation). I love that he had a fantastic time meeting new friends and trying new things, like kayaking! Back at Breckenridge the sun was out and the pool was warm. We had a pretty quiet evening and tucked Carver into bed early as he was starting to snarl at us he was so exhausted. On Saturday we went to a mountain top summer park and dropped 2 million dollars for our family of 5 to get in. It was worth it, though. We all had an incredible time. Here are some of the highlights.
Riding the shuttle up the mountain. Don't you love 12 year old teeth?


He was giggling before he started jumping.

Jumping higher.

Carver was doing flips that made my head spin.


Lily is never outdone by her brothers.

Super girl.

Riding up the chair lift for the alpine slide.

Ready. Set. Go.

Just think. In 4 years he'll have his driver's license.

I took this picture while going down the alpine slide. So. Much. Fun!

My boys bringing it home.

Lily and yours truly riding up the Alpine Roller Coaster. Probably the most fun I've had in years.

Could they be any cuter?

David at the end of the coaster.

He would not come down.

He climbed again, and again, and again.

Zinabu and David on top of the maze. See all that snow in the background? There was so
much snow on the slopes that they still had the tubing hill open. We did that too, but I didn't take any
photos as I was careening down the snow in my shorts on a rubber tube.

More climbing.

Double trouble.

I love my family!


Wordless Wednesday


Family Fun

Remember when? Remember when you were a kid and your parents took you on a trip and you didn't want to go? You pouted and whined and dragged your feet and chose to walk 20 yards behind your mom or dad while kicking a rock? The photo above is a classic in my family. We were living in Virginia at the time, so my mom and dad took us all to Washington, D.C. for a family trip. Look how optimistic my mom was! All dressed up and sassy with her white trench coat and pretty hair. Too bad she had to drag 3 ungrateful children along with her that day. I think this was the best photo my dad could get of all of us in front of the White House. After this picture my little brother and I both started crying.

My time has come. No sooner did we finally get past the diapers, pull-ups, tie their shoes, help them get dressed, hold-them-in-the-pool-so-they-don't-drown phase then we are full-on in the crabby, dragging their feet, rolling their eyes, and walking-20-yards-behind-us-while-kicking-a-rock phase. Eighty percent of our vacation time is awesome. Completely great. But the other twenty percent? Mmmmmm, not so much. While we were in Breckenridge and touring a museum there, one of our kids copped such a bad attitude--pouting with tears running down their cheeks--that a woman on the street actually stopped to give them a hug. (My kids are very adept at pouting.)

Here's to family vacations.


Off Again
This morning we are dropping Carver off at camp for the week and the rest of us are going back and forth to Breckenridge. Why back and forth? Because Z and Lily both have appointments mid-week, and I told David for Father's Day he could have a couple of days by himself up there. So there you have it. At the end of the week, I'll pick Carver up at camp and then we'll all head back to Breckenridge to be with David. A lot of driving around, but worth it. Last year I was a hysterical sobbing mess after dropping Carver off at camp. This year I am slightly better, so it's nice to know I can improve over time. I will still bawl and miss him terribly, but I am more happy for him than sad for me.
See you when we return!


Here Fishy Fishy
It didn't matter that we were surrounded by gorgeous mountains or had perfect weather. There was a pool. Pretty much all we did was swim. And swim. And eat. And swim some more.
Happy Zinabu

Scary Zinabu

A quick peek at the mountains.

More swimming with Lily

A brief rest
Carver poolside
Oops. That's just a picture of my cute husband that I threw in the mix.

Waiting for pizza.


We're off to Breckenridge for a little getaway. Two days this week but all of next week, too. Breckenridge is one of the prettiest places in Colorado--the mountains there are spectacular and the downtown is way cool. Too cool for this family, but they still let us come visit. David is the uber-travel-planner extraordinaire. He can scout out deals like our neighborhood bear scouts out garbage. Between Craigslist and his Internet searches, he's scored some mostly free overnights for us all for lots of trips this summer. So a shout out to the Big D for his cyber savvy.

There is still quite a bit of snow up in the ski areas, but the days are going to be warm and sunny. We'll swim and hike and ride the alpine slide and I'll take millions of pictures and post them when we get back.

In other news, I finished my response to the IRS and flooded them with more paperwork to prove that we paid for and finalized our adoption of Zinabu. If you didn't hear, they rejected our tax credit and slapped us with a big fat fine for wasting their time. Turns out I'm not the only one who got that letter. My friend Heather got something similar, and her fine was $2,000. These are people that have adopted and claimed the adoption tax credit that the government offered. We're not criminals. We're not lying. We're not making up fake children to claim money that was never spent. This process has been brutal for quite a few of us. Especially because a lot of us adjusted our federal withholdings for the 2010 tax year in anticipation of the adoption tax credit. If for some reason they disallow our claim, we will owe massive amounts of money. So let's all say a prayer for the person reviewing our paperwork, shall we? Mmmmmkay.


David added new sand to the sandbox and the kids christened it with lots of playing. It was a beautiful evening, which you would never know by Carver's wool cap. Pre-teen fashion is very important, no matter how hot it is. I love these kids so much.


Remember When?
Remember when I said that I could never go vegan because I would miss cheese too much? I really ought to be careful about saying such definitive statements because I am one hair's breath away from doing just that. It's a bit of a long story, and I won't go into it until my birthday (July 13th) because that's probably going to be the big official switch. Suffice it to say, I should try not to say "never" anymore.

And here's the other thing. I am absolutely sick of my hair. It's ugly and bothering me and way too much work. Whose idea was it to grow it out for my big trip to London? Oh yeah. That would be me. Another thing I shouldn't make lofty goals about. Someone talk me out of the path of a sharp pair of scissors.
Summer Nights
There were a lot of fun things going on in the city last night, but we participated in the good ol' American pastime of baseball. Zinabu had his first game of the summer. He was so stinking adorable I could hardly stand it. Put him in a uniform and his cuteness skyrockets.

The air was warm. The sun was shining. Only two kids got hit on the head with a baseball. And Zinabu made a great play at third base. When the game was over, we headed over to the playground that was on the other side of the park.

They were filthy, but they sure slept well!


And They're Off
Sorry for the horrible photo. It was early and Lily hates to smile before 8 am, so I had to take it fast.

Do you remember when Carver and David took their trip to San Francisco? David promised each child when they turned 10 years old he would take them on a trip. Just them and dad. It was supposed to be a train trip, but now that it is Lily's turn, and knowing her personality, we decided a plane would be the better way to go. They left yesterday morning for San Diego for four fun-filled days with an extreme focus on animals.That's Lily's major love of all time, you know. So while we are here in Colorado, trying to find oxygen and blue sky with all the smoke in the air from the AZ wildfires, they are frolicking on the beach, going to the zoo, swimming with dolphins at Sea World, going on a whale-watching boat ride, admiring sea lions, and anything else that Lily wants to try. David is "travel guide supreme"--seriously, if you ever go anywhere he's the person to travel with. I am so excited for them. They really, really, REALLY need this time together. I hope they come home with a deeper love and appreciation for one another, plus a lot of fantastic stories to tell.


Yes, I'm still here.
No, I have nothing new to write about--unless you want to hear about how I'm trying to keep another garage sale in our neighborhood a big secret from my kids or about how we have no food in the house and I need to go to the grocery store and I'm tired of thinking about food and making food and needing food and watching my kids consume food... But I don't think you want to hear all that, do you?


Happy June 1st
Lily and Zinabu decided to wash the dog together.
Lily is an amazing worker.
This is Zinabu helping.