We're in New Jersey visiting Ben's sister+husband right now, but I had to interrupt our trip to share the news! Boone is a daddy!!!!!!! We got an email last night that the first one had arrived and the 3 others were born throughout the night. My parents' dog, Sadie, is the mommy, so the little ones are 1/2 purebred American lab and 1/2 purebred Springer Spaniel [there was a bit of an illicit romance this summer]. We get to see them at Thanksgiving!!! SO CUTE!!!! I love puppies.


*the truck

Another picture from our neighbors - 4-wheel-drivin-it in the Uintas this summer. If Ben had his own blog, this would be on it:


Our neighbors sent over some pictures they had taken of us all over the last year or so. It was a nice little surprise to see myself in a picture that doesn't involve a timer or reaching my arm out to take it myself. And of course my little girl's smile - I LOVE IT.



[she randomly sat on the ground and cuddled up to Grandpop like a little puppy]



Ben's parents and I took Vera and Stella to the zoo. It was a perfectly beautiful day: cool, not-crowded and full of fall colors. It was no ordinary zoo trip because there was a brand new baby elephant - I seriously could have watched it all day, SO STINKIN CUTE. [I'm not normally a big zoo-lover, but the baby animals, the feeling of Fall + the girls' excitement made it a wonderfully fun time ] Other highlights were the train, seeing the baby giraffe and the papa tiger which was ominously close, huge and a bit scary.


*hace 2 años

I always loved finding pictures from "one year ago." Crazy that now there's pictures from two years ago! I don't know if I ever shared pictures from this weekend [did I?], October 07 when Vera was a little over 2 months old [pre-blogging days, some of my favorite pictures ever - mostly taken by Matty]. Matty, Jessie and Ben came for Vera's baptism and it was such a fun, beautiful Fall weekend with them.

{I love this little face}

{look at Vera's cute little expression :) it keeps rotating the image for some reason?}

child of the covenant:

{same baptismal gown worn by me and all my siblings, many cousins and other family members. all the names are embroidered onto the slip... except Vera's which has sat in my sewing box for two years. discipline please!!!}

**more Cater fun happening this week with Ben's parents here. photos to follow...**



I had a lovely birthday last week, and to be honest mostly because I got so many calls and texts and emails and cards and gifts - and yes, even the facebook comments made my day :) It really did feel different turning 30, and I felt a little wistful sadness for my 20s which were pretty wonderful. I had my 20th birthday in Argentina, finished up college solidifying some of the best friendships I could imagine, was convinced to move to San Diego, lived with my bestest of friends in quite the ideal setting [as in we could hear the waves breaking from our apt.], met and married a truly amazing man, started our life together in the quaintest and coolest of towns [ie. missoula], moved to SLC [which we were VERY reluctant to like for some time] and started the most amazing part of our lives yet: raising little Vera.

I should come up with some life goals for this new decade I'm entering... off the top of my head I can say I want my faith and relationship with Christ to grow [um which I can't just sit back and watch happen], I want to have more kids, I want to run a marathon and I want to be a better mom and wife :)

This was the only documentation of my birthday. My Grandma warned me the first year when Vera was a baby that she would thereafter take over our birthdays and here it is:

*I ran out of time to make a cake, but I knew V would want to sing and help with the candles.*



Vera will declare she's going to take a nap here on the green chair and call out for me to bring her Bunny, Monkey, Blanket, Josie, Bear, Hello Kitty etc. Yesterday she said, "tummy hurt. couch." and crawled up in her favorite little cozy spot. Kinda sweet.


*una lista

The other night we listened to This American Life on our way home from my brother's. The episode was about a woman who picked up and moved to Desmet, SD because of her love for the Ingalls' family story in the Little House series [books not show!!]. They went through a bit of Laura Ingalls Wilder's story and how much her books have impacted people. I actually got a lump in my throat thinking about it all. I cannot tell you how much I loved those books - how much I wanted to live with Laura and play in the woods+fields, walk to my one-room schoolhouse, go on a sleigh ride with my Almanzo :) Anyway, so I was just about to get in bed and read another of my most favorite books ever: Pride and Prejudice. And I was compelled to write a list, which happens a lot. But this time I'm sharing it:

Books I love so much they make me ache inside:

Little House series
Pride and Prejudice
100 Years of Solitude
Carta a una señorita en Paris [short story by Julio Cortazar. the one with the bunnies, sarah]
Where the Red Fern Grows
Anne of Green Gables [especially the first and the last 2]
The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, The Last Battle, The Magician's Nephew
Daughter of Fortune
Peace Like a River [a newer one, but worthy of the list]


*baila baila

Vera puts on this tutu of Marie's [calls it her 'dancing outfit'] at least once or twice a day and asks for me to put on some music so she can do her pirouettes [it was word of the day on sesame street a couple weeks ago]. I keep trying to get her to repeat these moves, but the new ones are pretty cute too:

*The little outfit has Tinkerbell on the front. I love asking V who it is because she can never remember it right. My favorite answers are Tiggerbear and Bell Ding.

**Tom Petty isn't really great dancing music - usually we have Madonna on. I love Madonna!!!


*sopa de pollo

Tonight I made chicken soup from scratch. This has been on my things I want to accomplish in life for quite a while now. Well I guess I wasn't real into the idea when I was younger... My mom seemed to be always making chicken stock and I remember getting picked up by my friends who would tell me I always smelled like chicken - not really what you want to smell like on a Friday night. Anyway, now as a grownup, I often freeze the scraps and bones from a roasted chicken dinner to later make stock - only to throw it out a year later. I don't know why I thought it was so intimidating - it was really easy and really really good and I didn't even have to make a trip to the store!

This is what I did:

1. Soak 2 carcasses [ew, sorry] in 8 cups water and some salt for 1 hour.
2. Simmer the same for 1 hour with a handful of peppercorns.
3. Add a quartered onion, a carrot, a big stick of rosemary and simmer another hour or so.
4. Separately sauteed an onion, garlic + chopped carrots with some dried italian herbs.
5. Strain the stock with a colander, chill for a while and then skim off fat [I got impatient with this one]. Froze half the stock to use another day.
6. Heat stock again, add sauteed vegetables and shredded chicken leftovers from a few nights ago. Added fresh parsley, fresh corn and kosher salt at the very end.

yum. and it was so healthy that I'm now going to go finish a pint of Ben + Jerry's Mint Chocolate Cookie..........