Posts Tagged ‘family’

Ugh. I suppose we do need to talk about last Thursday. Honestly, it was, without a doubt, the worse one I have ever had. And that counts last year when I was behemothly pregnant and uncomfortable and cranky.

The day started out well. Since we work at a boarding school we didn’t have Thursday and Friday off. It’s not like they can send the international students home for four days. It’s actually really nice what the school does. They invite all of the parents to the school for Thanksgiving and have a big, traditional dinner in the dining room. Staff have the option of eating in the dining room or in their own homes.  The fall play also performed that weekend and I got tapped to help with hair and make-up, which I love doing, but it ended up making our Thanksgiving non-existent.

Let me start at the beginning!

So, we started late on Thursday. I didn’t have to be at the theater until 10:30, so I left Ken with napping babies and went to style 1930’s hair and apply Ben Nye make-up. Ken brought the girls to the theater around 11:30 so he could help with some of the technical aspects of the show. That part was fun. It was nice to have Hazel playing in a bin of towels and babbling to the high school girls while I wielded the curling iron. And I heard Haley had a lot of fun in the house, using the theater chairs to walk up and down the rows. At 1:30 we swapped rolls and I took the girls back home for their afternoon nap. The plan was to go over my boss’s house for dinner with her family before she and I would go back to the theater to do some touch ups before the show.

The girls woke up from their nap (they slept for an hour! In the midst of the sleep regression! It was a Thanksgiving miracle) and the following happened.


I figured out the trick to getting Haley to wear headbands. I have to put them on her when she’s looking in the mirror and then talk to her about how pretty she looks. It actually works! She gets really excited and smiles and bounces and leaves the freaking headband alone.

See Hazel? See the look of discovery in her eyes? And poor Haley is blissfully unawares.

She’s interested enough that she dropped the burp cloth.

Aaaannnddd that was the end of Haley’s headband. But it was cute while it lasted.

After the photo shoot, I loaded the girls up in the stroller and we went over to my boss’s house and played with her kids while we waited for her husband to get dinner together and for Ken to finishing dealing with tech stuff. Guys, it never happened. Ken never finished. I had dinner with a bunch of people I barely know. All of them were very nice, but I’ve only known them for a month and a half.  Ken never showed up and the moment I tried to eat was the moment the girls decided they were interested in the fire place (with a fire in it). It was also my first Thanksgiving away from my family and the food wasn’t all that great. It all just combined into a horrible disappointment.

But I could have handled everything else if Ken had been there. Not having him there, not having the key component of this little family that we’re building present for a day that has always been about family for me. It was heartbreaking for me.

We ended on an up note. After the play started and the girls had gone to bed, Ken went down to the dining room and got a left over pumpkin pie. We grabbed two forks, sat on the couch, and ate it straight out of the tin. Not a bad end to a disappointing day, but my mom’s pumpkin pie is still far superior.

I’m so cooking next year.





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A couple weeks ago the school that Ken and I teach at had a science night. It’s a small, boarding school and they just got this big, nice, new science lab built for them (I don’t know when exactly, but this is the first school year it’s been usable). So, a couple Fridays ago they opened it up in the evening and had all these different mind games and puzzles and displays set up. You could pretty much wander around the room and play Bill Nye The Science Guy. We took the girls because, honestly, they get kind of cranky when it’s just the four of us now. This move has turned the H’s into social butterflies and they would rather be around lots of people to smile and flirt with.

There was a skeleton in the room that Hazel was intrigued by… until Daddy came up and started making lame skeleton jokes. We both gave him the same glare of unimpressed disapproval. Haley was afraid of it! I find it interesting that my outgoing wild child is so easily spooked. She does this thing when I’m holding her and she gets frightened where she wraps her arm around mine and digs her fingernails into the upper part of my arm, just below my shoulder. It’s sweet that she clings to me for security, but she does it if there’s a vacuum cleaner within a five mile radius, when I’m loading clothes into the washer and the water is on, and, yes, when we’re looking at skeletons.

I have great hopes that the girls will by pass the arts as potential career choices and choose something that pays better and if more stable. Is that weird that I’m hoping they won’t want to do what Ken and I do? Don’t get me wrong, I will support them in whatever they choose (as long as it’s not being a crack addict or anything that involves committing a felony. It’s all about limits, people), but I would rather spare them the exceptional amount of heartache that being in the arts provides.

Where was I?

Oh, yes. SCIENCE! Anyway, it was a fun little thing to do in between dinner and bedtime. The girls had fun, we had fun. It was a nice sense-of-community thing to do.  Hooray for fitting in… I mean, kind of. I’m not, but the girls are. I’m working on it, but awkward and weird are a bad combination for making a good first impression. Having cute babies helps.

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Beer Fest

The Saturday before we moved went to a Brew Fest at Oaks Park, which is a small amusement park right next to where the girls took their swim lessons. Clearly, the girls couldn’t actively participate and I couldn’t either cause I was taking antibiotics and the pharmacist warned me that if I mixed alcohol with my prescription the result would be violent vomiting. :-/ So Momma didn’t get any beer. But honestly, it turned into a train fest instead.

There is a rinky dink little train that goes around part of the park and since the rest of the amusement park was closed they had the train operating for free. 🙂 So, naturally, we had to take the girls on their first ever train ride!

Train seats are really interesting when you’re 8 months old.

Daddy, Gramma, and Haley rode in front while Hazel, Aunt Kathleen, and I rode behind them.

Ignore everyone else in this picture and just check out Haley’s blue steel stare.

Grandpa was a trouper and stayed with the stroller for us, though I think he would have been to long for the train anyways. Ignore that he looks like a creeper in this photo, he’s not, Aunt Kathleen just likes to make him look like one.

Can you tell how perfect the weather was from these pictures? I miss it so much.

I love this picture of the three of them with their heads together. I had such a close relationship with my maternal grandmother and I’m so excited for the girls to have a similar relationship with my mom.

Is it just me or is there something sad and beautiful about an empty amusement park?

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We took the girls to a pumpkin patch in my parent’s town right before we moved, mostly just so I could get 5 million pictures of the girls surrounded by pumpkins. We didn’t actually get any of the said pumpkins because we didn’t want to have to pack them. 🙂 But pumpkins will be had! I want to get two mini pumpkins, tape out the girls’ names in painters tape, paint the pumpkins black and then peel away the tape so that their names are there in orange surrounded by black pumpkin-ness. Yes, I’m crazy, thanks for noticing.

This is basically a photobomb. Turn away now if the thought of adorable pictures of adorable babies makes you want to go running towards the nearest cliff.

Did we have a perfect day or what? It was beautiful! I love autumn. The colors, the clear blue skies, the crisp air. Don’t get me stated on soups, sweaters, boots, pumpkin flavored everything… It’s a great season and so, so pretty in Oregon.

That pyramid is where all the pumpkins are and since we were there for purely photographic reasons, that is where we headed.

Can you stand the cuteness? Cause I can’t. I squeak whenever I see this picture.


Gramma and the grand-babies.

I will have you know I was ludicrously tired that day. Haley is just not an easy night sleeper and we had been having some major sleep issues which usually involved both of us being up for approximately two hours every night, miserable the entire time because we both wanted to sleep, but Haley just can’t figure out how to get back there. Those two hours usually ended with me crawling back into bed almost in tears and having Ken go and get her to sleep because I was too angry/tired to deal with her anymore. Thank the lord for big sunglasses and coffee.

I color coordinated all of us on purpose. There are times when I want to be Martha Stewart so bad it’s not even funny… minus the whole insider trading thing.

We had a conversation in my twin group a couple of weeks ago about how most of the moms aren’t in any pictures with their kids either because they don’t like pictures of themselves or because they are the ones taking all the pictures. The blessing/curse of having a photographer for a sister is that I am in far more pictures than I would like to be, but I want the girls to see pictures of us together and of how much I love them. This series of pictures is great example of how, while I may not love how I look, I love how we look as a family and that makes me happy enough to ignore my tired, puffy face and focus on how perfect my family is.

Poor Daddy and Hazel. Momma and Haley are so crazy.

Anyone else pumpkin patch-ed it up this month? I’m so excited for it to be Halloween for the girls to (FINALLY!) wear their costumes.

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My sister and I have been planning to do family photos for months. Literally. I kept saying it would their 6 month photo shoot, but then six months came along and the girls were thisclose to sitting up and I knew pictures would be so much easier if we waited until they could fully sit unassisted and my sister was swamped with school and her internship. So we put it off until last Saturday.  6 months. 7 1/2 months. Who’s counting really? (okay, I am actually counting, but that’s not the point.)

Instead of inundating the blogverse with photos of my twins, I’m just going to post the four that are being put into the girls baby book. I know, I know. I’m depriving the world of cuteness, but y’all should be applauding my self control.

I love this picture. I love how clear it is to see how different the girls look. I don’t understand how people can look at them and then proceed to ask if they are identical. Cause they sure don’t look identical. Also, check out the thigh rolls on Hazel. Epic.

Detail oriented Haley. She was fascinated with the sand on the stump. We could only get her to look up for a handful of pictures, she was so engrossed. She’s like that with everything. She fully focuses on whatever she’s trying to figure out and she won’t let anyone distract her until she’s figured it out. Except for Puzzle. Puzzle has her attention whenever she wants it. I think they are going to BFFs.

This was Ken’s pick. He loves how Hazel looks like she’s meditating. Though this calm, serene depiction is not my baby. Not anymore. She has turned into such a goof! The little stoic is now loud, giggly, goofy. It was a sudden transformation, but it’s so fun to have her be so expressive. Especially after months of Stone-Cold Hazel.

Our family photo. No words. Just loves!

And while this one is not going to go into the baby book, it is still worth sharing. I think it’s pretty safe to say that when we first met 5 years ago, neither one of us would have predicted this is where we would end up, but it’s a great place to be.

Shameless plug: If anyone lives in the Portland area and wants to hire a great photographer, check out KKelly Photography’s Facebook page. If you don’t want to hire a photographer, but want to see more cute pictures from our family shoot or some awesome pictures from other projects… check out KKelly Photography’s Facebook page. 🙂

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Last week, as previously mentioned on the blog, my mom, brother, sister, and I went to OMSI (Oregon Museum of Science and Industry): After Dark. It’s held on the last Wednesday of every month. The museum stays open after hours for adults only and there’s wine and beer. It’s pretty awesome.

My mom and I are really excited about our wrist bands.

My brother is decidedly more mellow than we were, but he usually is. Kathleen was just happy she got him to smile.

Of course the first thing we had to do was get some beer. It is my family, after all.

I need a new excited face.

We started off by going to the permanent exhibit and practicing our weather forecasting skills… with our beer in our hands. Duh.

The traveling exhibit right now is Nature Unleashed. It was all about natural disasters. There was no photography allowed and my sister (who took the majority of the pictures) is a good rule follower, so we didn’t take pictures. But it had different sections devoted to the different type of disaster: earthquake, volcano, hurricane, tsunami, and tornadoes. It was very interesting and fascinating and completely terrifying.

There was also a J’ai Ho Dance Party.

A Bollywood DJ/choreographer was there and his troupe performed and then they taught all the civilians an entire minute of Bollywood choreography. Hysterical!

John got snagged at the beginning and is dancing with the choreographer.

And then the hilarity insued as we started learning the choreography. Let me tell you, Bollywood is no joke. It is a cardio workout. And involved a lot of shaking what yo mama gave you. Lucky for me, she gave me a lot!

I love when my sister makes this face. It cracks me up. Every time I look at this picture I giggle.

Guys, a word of advice: when someone asks you if you can do something in a performance setting, you should lie. Lie like your life depends on it. Don’t get overly excited and demonstrate what they’re looking for. Because then you end up on stage doing the choreography you just learned with everyone staring at your butt.

What did I demonstrate? The sprinkler. Nothing cool or requiring a specific amount of skill. The sprinkler. But guys, I rocked that sprinkler. Hard.

And after my 5 minutes of fame, I was approached by a 60-year-old Indian man who proceeded to tell me how well I danced Bollywood style. Really he was telling me that my hips don’t lie. You know the night is a success when the older men awkwardly compliment your butt.

I left after the dance party because I do have infants who still wake up at night and it was Ken’s last night at home before he departed for pirating.   But Kathleen and I did discover that there is a club in Portland that does Bollywood dance classes once a month and we will be investigating and possibly J’ai Ho-ing it up once again.

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