Thursday, August 28, 2008

5 Year Anniversary Presents

For our 5 year anniversary, Jason and I got very special presents for each other.

The very first gift Jason ever gave me was a hydrangea plant. He sent it to me during the first week we began dating. It was a special symbol as it had been included in (and remembered from) several of our countless "getting-to-know-you" talks which invariably included various interests and likes/dislikes. He knew I loved to garden and I'd told him how much I liked hydrangeas. He thought their ability to change blossom color in various dirt pH's was pretty cool. Later at our wedding, we would have hydrangea blossoms and plants decorating everything from the wedding altar to the wedding cake.

Last year, as we celebrated our 4th Anniversary apart (Jason was in Kuwait), he'd sent me a sweet little hydrangea with a note asking if I remembered the ones from our wedding. Well duh. I'm a girl. That's my job. :)

So this year I returned the sweet gesture. I got him a hydrangea plant.

This new plant is a climbing hydrangea which we'll put in our shady place in the front yard. It's got variegated leaves and will have pretty white flowers one day next year. Jason liked it very much and can't wait to see it grow in our yard!

For my present, Jason fulfilled a sweet promise he made to me years ago.
I got diamond earrings.

He ordered the earrings from the same place he got my engagement ring and our wedding bands.

I was so surprised and happy! And oh so pretty!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


Living in the typically temperate Willamette Valley makes AC a short-lived luxury rather than a an absolute necessity. So with the super warm weather we had last week, I became quite creative finding ways to cool us off.

We would open up all the windows (and sometimes doors!) at night to welcome in the cooler air and then shut the house back up in early morning, capturing and keeping (or trying to) that beautifully cool air.

Siennalee would get cool baths at night before bed and then receive a good lathering up with her bedtime baby lotion and fall asleep under a watchful fan.

But my very favorite creative way to cool off was introducing Siennalee to the Popsicle.

She took to it right away, can you believe it?

I now get regular requests for "poppets."

It's a seasonal dish, of course, and therefore isn't available daily, but it sure is cute to get the request!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Awaken the Fairy Lily

Something very precious has awakened in my home. A Fairy Lily has bloomed. This lily has slept peacefully in my care since last summer, when it traveled up from Texas as a frail snippet of a plant and was tenderly tucked into a terracotta container by my mother.

We had been visiting my grandparents who live in Longview, Texas and at the end of our visit, as she always does, my grandmother sent precious cuttings and snippets of her beloved plants back home with my mother.

For a year, this teeny fairy lily has graced me with slender green fingers, sometimes wilting, sometimes waning, but always sending green shoots back to me.

And now, to my great surprise and delight, she's bloomed. No doubt her mother, the gorgeous plant from whence she came, has been blooming for quite some time down in her Texas home where she lives outside and blooms beautifully in the heavy southern air.

What a sweet pink connection my Fairy Lily has blossomed for my mother, my grandmother, and me.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Anniversary Getaway!

Jason and I headed west to celebrate our 5 year anniversary. We thought the Oregon coast would be the perfect spot for our short but sweet getaway.

We stayed one night at the Embarcadero Resort Hotel in Newport and had a fabulous view of the Yaquina Bay (a big thanks to my mom for her assistance with finding and booking the room!)

This my first night away from Siennalee and Jason's and my first getaway without the Sweetpea.

Another big thanks to my mom for staying with Sienna!

Jason and I ate lunch in a cute little bistro on the beach. :)

Before lunch (and again afterward) we explored Nye Beach which, as its name suggests, is close to the beach.

It wasn't time to check into the hotel yet, so we decided we needed ice cream and went in search for it. We found what we were looking for in Depoe Bay, about 20 minutes North, at a little parlor that sold Tillamook Ice Cream (YUM-O). Jason enjoyed a double scoop of peppermint ice cream and I lost myself in a single of black walnut. SO very good.

Jason got in some binoc'ing at the bay. ;)

He did manage to spy a whale...

We then went on a lovely drive, stopped to see Devil's Punchbowl, and then found our way to a fun restaurant called "Quimby's" which delivered us a scrumptious dinner of bruschetta, spectacular clam chowder, salad, and pan-fried oysters.

After dinner, we headed to the half-moon lit beach where we drank lovely semi-sparkling Moscato out of hotel mugs, looked at the moonlit surf, stargazed and talked.

The next day dawned beautiful and clear, rare for the Oregon coast. We appreciated the beauty of the morning on the bay and headed home to our waiting baby girl. What a great anniversary!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Five Years

Five years ago today Jason and I were married in a beautiful garden just outside Junction City. I can hardly believe it's been five years, and yet I can't believe it's been only five years. We've had five years of change, discovery, warm familiarity, wide eyed wonder, hand clasped friendship, new life, growing love, difficult worry, wild times, heart skipping joy, salty tears, belly laughs, and beautiful, beautiful togetherness.

As we wrote in our wedding program, "And most of all, we give abundant thanks to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, for His unending faithfulness shown in every facet of our lives. Only You could have created such a beautiful gift and loved us enough to give it to us."

Jason, you are my friend, my partner, my companion, the father of my daughter, the warmth on the other side of the bed, the taster of my dinners, the winner of my heart, and the great love of my life. If five years is this awesome, I can hardly wait til 50!

I'll leave it with the lines of a song I used to sing to you often:

When the day comes
that I don't love you,
every star
will fall out of the sky,
every mountain will
tumble down,
every river run dry.
Brookes & Dunn

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Wishing Nana a Happiest Birthday!

Tricia, Mom, and Nana:

Have a most blessed birthday! You're a blessing to us. We love you.

Love, Jason, Jessica, & Siennalee

Friday, August 1, 2008

Blueberry Hunting

Today Siennalee and I joined Anne, Isabella, and Gracey for some blueberry picking.

Not too much later, Jamie Starr and her four lil Starrs headed out to pick with us. (The two littlest ones were hidden in the bushes.)

It was Siennalee's first berry picking excursion. She picked some for the berry bucket, munched some (as you must do when berry picking), and spent the rest of the time exploring and trying to play with the big girls.

We made it home with a nice load of blueberries which are now cooling in the freezer and will greet us during the dull winter months tucked into muffins and pies!


Summertime Siennalee Snippets (So Far)

I'm behind in my snippets, I know, so here is my catch up for the summer so far:

Siennalee has made it up to "G" in her ABC's! She'll say the other parts, too, but sometimes gets them mixed up a bit: "Q, R, X... dubble X, jabber jabber jabber..." :)

She's starting to string words together well. The other day she got her shoes (see snippet story below) and told me "Walk park, Mama!"

Her newest phrase is "Lookit dis!" or "Lookit dat!"

The other day she was playing with my cell phone (a rare treat) and she suddenly went still, stared at the phone with her eyebrows up, and announced to me "Flowers on dere!" (There is a picture of red poppies on my phone's wallpaper.)

She can count up to ten. Sometimes creatively, but she can do it nonetheless.

She can put her shoes on - even correct feet sometimes! But she doesn't do the velcro "buckles" yet.

She loves her doggy and easily says his name, "Racer!"

She loves to see trucks "See tuck, Mama! Look. Look tuck, Mama." She'll also describe them, "Big tuck!"

She'll correctly identify things in numbers, "Two puppies, Mommie!"

Her imagination is kicking in already. The other morning she told me, "Dacey, Bey-ya at 'ome. Dacey poopy!" (Translation: Gracey and Bella are at home. Gracey's most likely poopy. It does happen you know.)

Two year old tantrums are well into rearing their better-hide-that-smile-behind-your-hand-and-make-your-voice-sound-serious uglycuteugly heads.

She's doing very well learning to obey... there was a time there when I thought I'd never see her stop or even hesitate when instructed to stop or not to do something. Thank you, God!

She readily helps with getting herself dressed. She also loves to unfold clothes and will carry them around the house.

When I go into her room to get her up in the mornings and after naps she greets me with, "Downsteers, Mama! Downsteers!" (She wants to get up and go downstairs where all the fun must be happening.)

Siennalee will parrot just about anything. The other day we were with Anne and the girls and Anne told them, "Let's go! C'mon, double time!" And Sienna chimed in, "Dubble hime!" In fact, she'll often say it even now, "Dubble hime!"

She's also picked up a few gems from me: "Gwoss!" (gross) "Pook!" (puke)

Here's a couple little stories from early June:

Today when I went to get Siennalee up from nap she was very concerned about something. In fact, when I’d been watching her play before she saw me, I saw her move all her blankets and babies away from something on the mattress. When I went in, she showed me and said “Spit, spit, Mama. Wash.” She’d spit up and knew it needed to be washed!

When she was looking at a book she saw a picture and said “Fish!” and made the fish face. I’d shown her the fish face for a day or two now, but haven’t seen her volunteer it on her own yet. YAY!

Little story from July:

Nana, visiting with Papa from PA, taught Sienna to say "Vamoose!" We were all sitting in church and the pastor was praying when Nana leaned over to help Siennalee with something and Sienna said to her "Vamoose!" It was then time to head to nursery.