September 2010

Help with Color

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Did I ever tell you I have some very talented neighbors? One is a painter who was the only American asked to paint on the Berlin Wall back in 1990. I have several neighbors who are architects and landscape architects along with the mom who will tackle any crazy project… even resurfacing the leather on an old chair. Who does that? One of my neighbors.
Last week I worked along side my neighbor Cecilia Tanoni as I photographed a home where she worked her magic. She chose paint colors, paintings (by Mary Mackey) and floor tiles for each of these rooms. She also sourced those cute owl decals for the nursery.
It amazes me the paint colors and finishes available out there. I get totally thrown just looking at a paint deck. Too many choices! Knowing there is probably something cooler or better quality (cause the faucet I just spent $300 on is already loosing its finish) out there. Not knowing what is best really makes it difficult to get a home project going. I can’t wait to have Cecilia help sort through it all for us and guide us as we make some very necessary upgrades to our home.

My Kids

I love my kids. They are the best, brightest, funniest, most innocent kids out there. Maybe I have my blinders on… well, except for that time today when Zed screamed so loudly in my ear (at the bank, no less) that it was ringing for about 5 minutes. Or the other day when the shower door was shattered by this same baby of force (thank goodness for tempered glass). Not by his scream, although that wouldn’t have surprised me too much. Or yesterday when I had to bribe my kids with money and toys to clean their rooms. Well, that might be a slight exaggeration. We have a job chart and once they earn enough money, they may buy a toy from Mommy’s Store. I had just restocked, hence the amazing staying power displayed by both kids while cleaning.
Have I shared what dinner is like at the Smith house? I have been trying to cook for the entire family and it has been tough. Ezra would prefer, and often demands, pizza every night while India could have pasta every night. Ezra often gags on pasta of any kind, and will sometimes eat it without complaint. Who can explain the inexplicable flip-flopping? Zed wolfs down everything that they don’t eat. Ahh Zed, now if we could get you to sit down while eating that would be great. So to cook for everyone, I often have very similar meals each night. A meat (yes we are on meat again) vegetable and grain… often brown rice. Sounds pretty ok, right? It is, most nights. Much better than when I was cooking something for the adults and an entirely different meal for the kids.
So yes, I love my kids. I also love where we are, where we are headed and where we have been. There are ups and downs to everything. That is what makes life worth living, I guess.

Zed should be pictured here… he was napping when I took these on Sunday. Maybe that’s why we were late to church. Humm…

On Teri’s Birthday

Zed and I picked apples from the crooked tree in our backyard. Many had no worms. How amazing is that? India took the first of these apples to lunch today. I’m excited to hear how she liked it.
I also wanted to show off our new shade sail. Now we need better patio furniture and we’ll be eating outside every chance we get. There’s always something keeping us from living our dream.
I’ve been thinking of my sister. This week she celebrated her birthday. I wonder what she did? I haven’t even talked with her, two days after her b-day! Maybe I can make it up to her with some nice words here on my blog… if she even reads it.
My sister Teri has always been the IT girl. You know, the one everyone wants to hang with or be like. She’s a counter-culture, punk-rock, beach-bum and is always looking for ways to enjoy life. Even living in sunny So Cal she jet-sets to live an eternal summer, and catch the perfect wave. (The water IS cold there)
Beyond her zest for life she has incredible strength and staying power. Even though I hardly see or even speak with my big sister, she is an inspiration and example to me. I see her pushing forward and taking the next challenge of life as something to be conquered. She will come out on top. Like diving under a wave to push through on the other side, still breathing. She’s the best. You only wish you had a sister like her.

Fall is here

Today is so cold. I couldn’t believe that my car’s thermostat read 59 degrees at 10am while we were driving to pick peaches at this mom’s house. Thankfully Gabrielle brought out jackets for the boys to wear. Zed seemed fine in his one piece thing, but Ezra was shivering while on the ladder. Yes, he climbed their ladder and had a blast picking the yucky (looking) peaches. He would hand them to me saying “eeeeeewwww, this one has worms”. They don’t, really. Just sap, juice and dirt on the skins. I can’t wait to have our own fruit trees… sans worms. We have a little, bent apple tree with wormy apples. It seems all apples have worms around here. I should look into organic worm eradication methods. Anyone have success with their apple trees?
Zach and I have been watching Jamie Durrie’s The Outdoor Room lately and have come to the conclusion that when we win the lottery we need to redesign our bland backyard. Really, it is such a part of our interior that it is difficult to ignore. Oh, and does it need help! Zach even looked up Jamie’s site to see if we could get his show to come out here. I have a past client who produced Victory Garden on PBS. Even if she could convince him, we could never afford it. It’s fun to dream… (as if we don’t have enough neighbors who could design our outdoor space. Ha!)
I always think of fall as a time to plant. I remember the first year we moved here I waited patiently for the fall to buy my plants. By the time I got there, the nursery hardly had anything left and everything was half off. I liked the discount aspect, but there was nothing for me to get. I need to get my butt in gear and head to the nursery to see what I can find, before it’s all gone. Maybe some yucca for out the back window. That space is so difficult having a range from full shade to full sun from spring to fall. Wish me luck, I’ll need it.


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The boys got haircuts this summer. People are still surprised to see Ezra’s lack of hair.

Pretty shocking, eh?
I thought this looked so nice that I had to work on Zed’s hair too. Although I’m not sure, I miss the super soft locks. Thank goodness he’s still a super sweet boy… if only a little meddlesome (that’s an understatement).

You might wonder where all this haircutting came from. The image below should help you understand. This character has taken over my boy’s life. We made an airbender staff and the arrows complete the look. Guess what he’s going to be for Halloween.