*labor day weekend

We ended the summer with a visit from Ben's parents, sister and sweet baby niece.  Such a wonderful, fun time having them in our home.  Like our weekend with Matty, it was amazing how much we fit into a short time: bowling in Somerville again, Arboretum, wandering Boston, trip to Maine, walks, meals, [lots of] ice cream, watching babies play...

Afternoon in the Public Garden before dinner near the wharf:

Bad picture but a nice little moment to remember - feeding our babies together on the grass on this beautiful day.  I love my sister-in-law :)

Hanging out on the lawn in the Arboretum: 

Ruth and Zuzu are about two months apart - so glad they have each other!!  Both were so excited to see their baby friend when they woke up each morning :)

on the beach in Kennebunkport, Maine:

Just before a big thunderstorm hit in York, Maine.  Thankfully we were here on Tuesday after Labor Day and there were no crowds at all. I could see why it's labeled "honkey tonk" in any travel articles :) 

So grateful for all the time we've had with family this summer!!


*tres momentitos

Three moments from the last week or so that I'd like to remember:

Watching my baby sleep.  I am overcome lately by her babyness, by her enormous peachy cheeks, by the little sounds she makes, her happy disposition, her little thigh rolls and dainty fingers.  I want to see who she'll become, but I also want her to stay like this for-ever : (

I was thinking recently how I used to love having Vera help me in the kitchen - measuring, mixing, dumping, etc. We always had so much fun together and I thought it was so neat to see a little person gaining knowledge and independence like that. However, it seems like it was a neat toddler or preschool thing to do and she rarely helps me anymore! I seem to cook mostly when they are out of the way.  Sad. So the other day I expressed this to Vera and said maybe she could even make the mac n cheese on her own next time. I was already making dinner here and really almost done, but she ran to get her little chef hat and mitten and helped me finish the sauce. Really, she added some dried herbs, salt+pepper and stirred. That's all. But she was so excited, saying she had made dinner. I was upstairs giving Ruth a bath and came down to find she'd set the table all fancy with candles and served all our pasta. It was incredibly cute and I am determined now to get her really making things!

This picture of Edie just makes my heart ache (in a sweet way).  One night a little while ago, we had our neighbors over for dinner.  The kids were on the floor coloring and she kept coming up to me at the table with little cards she'd made - randomly cut pieces of cardstock with hearts and flowers. That night she happened to have a huge swollen mosquito bite under one eye and another on her nose. She had drawn a beard with face paint earlier in the day - basically she had a little face that only a mother could love.  She made about five cards and every time she'd give me a new one, she would jump up and down and clap her hands in excitement at the gift she was giving me.  Her sweet expression of love combined with her adorably beat up face just made my heart swell.



I have one more big summer visit to catch up on, but really started this blog to remember the everyday moments - here's a few:

Edie is really getting into dress up - I couldn't handle this adorable ensemble:

putting on a very entertaining variety show last night: 

reallly wanting to get moving and reach those toys:

*visit from Unko Matty

We had an incredibly full and wonderful summer and I'd like to catch up here!

The weekend after getting back from Utah, Matty came for a long weekend visit. It's amazing what you can fit into a short amount of time: we spent a day at Walden Pond, bowling in Somerville, ate Dumplings in Chinatown, went blueberry picking, drove along the coast of NH to Maine where we spent a night in Oguinquit - swimming in the hotel pool, eating a couple amazing meals, drinking good beers ("Mo" from Maine Brewing Company!! current favorite), walking along the Marginal Way, swimming in the ocean (ok not me)...  We were all so glad to have him here, so thankful we get to see our family as much as we do.

Of course he came bearing gifts:

Kisses for the newest Cater girl:

One of our favorite places here - candlepin bowling, beer and flatbread pizza. Not too bad.

Matty takes the best pictures. Here they are at the Y where we just got a membership:

Walden Pond really is a beautiful and peaceful place.  We had kind of a hectic time getting in though - they were turning cars away for having reached occupancy, so we snuck in in kind of a roundabout way, it was so hard on my rule-following tendencies!! When confronted with the Park Ranger I just kept saying that I needed to nurse the baby - anyway, long story.  Everyone kept commenting on how un-Thoreau it all was!

Blueberry picking in Western Maine:

me and Rudy waiting for the others. She was just starting solids here and loved the little bits of blueberry I fed her!

the owner offered to take the others on a ride around the property in his pickup. I was so happy for the girls to have this experience - I got to do that all the time with my Grandpa :)

seafood lunch in Kittery, Maine: Ruth tried and liked fish and chips (well minus the chips and the fried bits).

Flying on Unko's feet (some of my new most favorite pictures):

Matty took them to the toy store to let them pick out whatever they wanted for their birthdays [luckies?!] Edie got a princess dress and this unicorn that she is in love with.

I love to see these brothers together:


*a la vuelta - Utah

On our way back from Tahoe we [well just us girls] had a week-long layover in Salt Lake City. It had been way too long since we'd seen all our dear friends, and so despite the fact that it would be at the end of an already long vacation, that it would be without the help of Ben, that it would cost more than we can afford, I just had to do it. And it was so so worth it!!! We made such wonderful forever friends during our 6 years in Utah, I am so thankful for them and miss them as much as ever.

We stayed at the twins' house - Vera's BFFs since birth.  We spent her 7th birthday here and took a picture remembering how we took pictures of their first time together here at Red Butte 6 years before. Pretty amazing how they've grown!!! geez I'm getting all teary now - it took me 30 minutes of perusing old blog photos to find below picture.

sighhhh we used to live less than a mile from the new Whole Foods at Trolley Square. I suppose it's a blessing that we're so far now... financially.  Anyway, I stopped there to get some things for Vera's bday and Ruthie took her first shopping cart ride.

What a fun 7th birthday we had with old friends, the morning spent at Red Butte and the afternoon with cupcakes and playing with her best buddies:

We met at Cafe Rio [ohhh I miss their salads] with another great friend, Dale, who's known our girls since they were born. Well she knew Vera since she was small - always my little buddy working at the Food Co-op :)

So awesome to see our neighbor Graham - we were too lucky to live next to such an amazing family. Shoot, I was fine starting out this post, now I'm getting all sad again.  I don't have a picture but was just so incredibly happy to be with Jen and Bryan sipping mojitos and catching up at their kitchen table and then later in their wonderland of a backyard. Another sigh.

back to Sam and 'Mimi's. These kids just played and played. and played.  Convinced here that if you are nice to bees they will not sting you...

Had dinner down in Draper with my sister in law and niece. The girls were so excited to hang out with their big cousin, Katie, now a freshman in high school!  She was 7 when we first moved to Utah!! Crazy.

Seriously, these kids were troopers traveling so much.  My cousin calls this the "unicorn of naps" when all 3 sleep at once. This lasted about 10 minutes, but was pretty magical all the same.

Tia moved up to Park City about a year after we left. So great to see her.  For about a year after leaving I couldn't talk about her without choking up - such a special part of (mostly) Vera and Edie's childhood.

400 East reunited:

more play:

such a fun surprise that these two hit it off and had such a good time together. Edie is a little funny with new friends, especially those she views as younger. But she and Jubilee were so cute together!!! Edie: Let's pretend we're going back to Boston. Jubilee: When I'm in Texas I will missss you!!

I can't deny that certain restaurants and meals were high priority while we were there.  Finally got my almond croissant at Tulie one morning :)

It was really wonderful getting to be at First Presbyterian for church on Sunday. So many changes even since we left, but still so many wonderful and familiar faces.

I hope to never forget how stinking adorable Oliver was, especially when he first met Ruthie. He was so excited throwing big books down at the feet of the baby :)

Here is one of the attempts at a shot of all seven of our kids. Jenny had a picture of the two of us also, I need to get it... Anyway I am so thankful for such a kindred spirit of a friend I have in her and for the beautiful friendship our kids have together. Big sigh.

I was pretty anxious about traveling with all 3 by myself, especially with the logistics of flights and baggage and a rental car with three little ones - all by myself.  It was definitely exhausting, but totally manageable and most definitely worth it. I mean even if the baby fusses some on the airplane, it's only part of one day of your life. I came to a point where I literally didn't care one ounce what anyone on the airplane thought if my baby was fussy [she really wasn't that much even, but I wasn't anxious about it].  I do want to remember how wonderfully God answered my prayers for the last flight. I knew it wasn't realistic to pray they would be perfect for the flight. I prayed that despite how tired and grumpy the girls were after 3 weeks of travel, that I would be calm and patient. I found that I wasn't tired - even though Ruth only slept one hour of an 8 hour travel day, that even after waking repeatedly with her the night before, I had plenty of energy and patience for Edie and Vera.  God is so good.  So thankful for all of it.