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Belated 1st Birthday

So I confess, life back in St. Louis hardly seems blog-worthy these days.  Eric teaches two days a week, during which he has our only car, and keeps a pretty rigorous research and writing schedule the other three-to-four days, so mostly I hang out with Everett, try to keep the place liveable amongst a mess of stuff that has been displaced from the lowest shelves, and try to find things to keep both of us occupied, inside or outside the house.  This does not often include world-class museums, monuments, or even shopping that is not necessary for survival.  And it rarely leaves time anymore for creative endeavors.  Eric’s mom was visiting us for awhile back in September, which gave me some extra time, and planning and preparing for Everett’s first birthday party–which we held a week and a half after his actual birthday–has been my main creative outlet recently.  I thought it would be fun to have a travel-themed party, given the fact that Everett spent more of his first year outside of the U.S. than here, so we had some travel themed activities, favors, and food from each country we visited.  Both sets of grandparents were here, as well as my brother, and we had an absolutely perfect day for the outdoor affair.  I think it was a total success!

Little sketchbooks made to look like passports ("PASSPORT" is stamped in gold on them but it was pretty hard to see), along with stickers that looked like passport stamps

Our favor boxes, meant to look kinda like suitcases, with some luggage tags made from leftover oilcloth scraps--tutorial anyone? They were super easy to make! Inside were European candies (from World Market) and space for their activities like. . .

these little wooden airplanes from Oriental Trading Co., easily "painted" with crayola markers!

Some decor--simple flags cut from an old U.S. road atlas and sewn together at the top--also super easy!

The cake--maple walnut with maple cream cheese icing--to represent Canada (along with the moose finger-puppet-turned-cake-topper)

The birthday boy with his first taste of cake

Our earliest guests enjoying themselves--eventually the backyard was full of toddlers and older sibblings and parents and it was fantastic!

Unfortunately I didn’t get any good pictures of the food table, I was too busy trying to get the food finished and out and keeping cool or warm!  But we had dutch pannekoeken (pancakes, a lot like crepes) with nutella and other spreads, scones with jam and cream mini steak and ale pies, chips (fries) with malt vinegar (English style) and mayonaise (Dutch style), salad with our favorite L’Abri recipe dressing, and Icelandic skyr (yogurt) that I managed to find at Whole Foods.

Everett opened presents with just family after everyone else had left, at which point he was totally overwhelmed and a bit glassy-eyed so the pictures are more amusing than adorable, but he got lots of good stuff, and we are grateful for lots of new toys to keep him occupied (we had painfully few after all the traveling!)

I am hoping to participate in a couple of craft shows coming up, and I also want to add a few things to my currently inactive etsy shop, so keep an eye out for a possible giveaway as I attempt to draw more attention to myself:)

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Posted by on October 25, 2011 in Fun with Everett, My Projects

 

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Sins of Omission

Mom and Dad, a.k.a. Andy and Scott, on the boat

 

Ack!  Would you believe that in my post about our Canada trip I left out THE most important people who were there?!  My Mom and Dad, the king and queen of that rustic castle!  I think in my mind I was assuming you all would just know they were there because this was a family vacation, just like every summer since I was Everett’s age.  They make this place and this annual trip possible, working their tails off to improve and keep up the place, drive all the way there with a boat we all use, and cooking and cleaning for all their guests.

The amazing deck, we call it the world's biggest play pen, that my dad designed and built to replace a rather precarious walkway that collapsed a couple years ago. This was baby central this year!

Dad with his boy. Mom's always TAKING the pictures, so I don't have many good ones of her! (doen't help that she hides when you try either)

This year was so different from last year, when Eric and I only got to stay a week and my brother and sister were both overseas, and I was so pregnant that I pretty much just napped and knitted all day.  This year it was particularly special to have the whole family back together and get to share a full two weeks with Mom and Dad after being out of the country ourselves for so long.  I hope they’ll forgive me for leaving them out of my first hurried jots about the trip!

At Henry's, a fish 'n' chips restaurant only rechable by boat. One of our annual rituals!

 

 

 
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Posted by on September 16, 2011 in Travel

 

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Oh Canada!

For those of you who don’t actually know me personally, my family has a cottage up on the Georgian Bay in southern Ontario that we visit every summer (those of you who do know me personally have probably heard me wax poetic about this place ad nauseum on a few different occasions).  My grandfather, Papa George, bought it back in the ’60’s when my mom was a little girl.  He managed to take a collapsing cabin built at the turn of the 20th century, propped it up on car jack (yes, really) to rebuild the foundations, and turn it into a truly magical family vacation spot, if a little bit high maintenance still.  It’s very rustic–no electricity, propane for fridge, oven/stove, and some lights; no hot water–we bathe in the lake, pump water from the lake into a tank for the kitchen sink, heat water on the stove for dinner, and best of all, have a composting, water-free toilet (seriously).  A huge reason for all of this is that the property is actually an island unto itself, surrounded by thousands of these little islands that make up cottage country just a few hours north of Toronto.  I’ve only missed 3-4 summers for various reasons since I was born and can’t really imagine vacationing anywhere else; we start seriously dreaming about the island around Christmas time every year.  This summer was extra special, I think, because not only were we newly returned from months abroad, but both my brother and sister came as well (they couldn’t last year), AND our dear friends Kenny and Katy Hutson with their little girl Story, who is just a few months younger than Everett, joined us for about 5 days.  We stayed a total of about 3 weeks before heading back to St. Louis for good.  Some select pics for your enjoyment:

Yes, it really looks like this almost every evening.

Everett decided he LOVED the cold water the last week we were there--made him sleep well too!

Daddy and Everett hanging out on the front porch

An afternoon to myself while the little one napped and Eric and my brother went fishing

Bathtime!

 
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Posted by on September 1, 2011 in At Home, Fun with Everett, Travel

 

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