Vera is showing a lot of improvement in her handstands lately!! I love when she can see how lots of practice pays off. The other night she was on a roll and had several really good ones where she could even balance there for a second or two. She said her boots must be magic :)

so pleased:


*colores de otoño

Last weekend we took advantage of a warm Saturday and went for a quick walk through the Harvard Arboretum [not near the campus, but run by the University]. I think it is the oldest of its kind in the country?  Anyway, it was really amazingly beautiful - I promise I didn't have to edit or enhance any of these pictures!


*treinta y cuatro

Not sure if I posted these pictures from my birthday last month. I let Vera skip school and we took the train up to Boston for the morning. I'd been wanting to try a certain bakery and visit a certain fabric store in a neighborhood I haven't explored yet. We had a fun time, though my idea of walking blocks and blocks through the city wasn't quite as appealing to them :)

I'm glad I at least had her bring the scooter so she didn't have to walk too much! Crazy to think how my girls are growing up so urban : )

Below is Edie helping me peel almonds for dinner. I made one of the first risottos I ever made - Jamie Oliver's with roasted garlic, thyme, marscapone and toasted almonds. It's amazing.

A sidenote: Edie is wearing this sweatshirt here that I bought her at H&M. I never buy her clothes because of so many hand-me-downs/gifts, but I thought she would especially like this one and so I did. Well she doesn't - and I think it's purely being stubborn because she knows I like it. Isn't that nice?  Anyway, she did show me how much she loves me by coming up with the idea to wear it on my birthday - you could tell she thought that was a big deal :)

Ben was very sweet and bought me gifts that show he really knows me [and knows I wouldn't want him to spend too much $] - fresh ground almond butter, fig jam + cheese and a bunch of those orange papery lantern flowers from whole foods


*tortas de barro

Have I talked about how much Edie loves making mud pies?  She set up this little mud pie kitchen for herself pretty much right when we moved in. There were some really warm days last week and she was out there again making a "pumpkin mud pie party" for us two.  I love this kind of creative play so so much, it makes me so happy to see her out there adding together and mixing and talking to herself, coming to the door once in a while to refill the water jug.  Vera will play sometimes too but then gets mud on her arm and wants to come wash it off right away, sigh :)


*dinner guests

One thing we are both so happy about being in this house is being able to have people over! Back in September we had his Latin American history class over for dinner and a book discussion. I almost got a little teary as it was something that Ben talked about doing when he first started his graduate work.  He personally had a wonderful college experience where he was able to do that sort of thing and really developed some close mentor/friendships with a couple of his professors.

A few weeks ago again we were able to have over said professors, Dr. Wood and Dr. Kennedy (+ family), plus the McCoys who work with Ben now but were also classmates at Point Loma.  It was such a blessing to both of us to be able to extend the hospitality that they have all shown us through the years - truly wonderful and we are so grateful.

the kiddie table:

had to take a picture of the dessert:

Vera helped me make the pies and started a list of the ingredients we had already added :)



some writing samples and sweet things they've done recently:

inspired I think by Daniel Tiger:

Edie's invitations. By Mara she was done :)

*tia liz

Liz was here last week for a fun visit. We went up to Boston several times and walked around, made some fun dinners and basically just hung out. The other day in the car Edie said she wishes Aunt Liz could live at home with us :)

At the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum - a very interesting place! My favorite was the courtyard garden which was absolutely beautiful and magical - and they don't allow photos [this isn't it below].

before, we had lunch at the Museum of Fine Arts - treated by my Grandma Kay  

huge dahlias we saw on a walk:

before bed:

Burritos from Pedro's!! This is a San Clemente restaurant - the owner's daughter went to school in Boston and had her dad open one here. It was so satisfying!!

walking up Beacon Hill:

I just love the architecture here.

we made spinach fettuccine one nigh, so yummyt:

*Halloween '13

"Who's excited for candy?!"

We had a nice little Halloween this year - definitely more low key than last year in Carson.  Vera wanted to be a monarch butterfly and Edie wanted to be a dog.  Well at one point I heard her say she wanted to be a "Christmas fairy dog" and then yesterday she regretted that she didn't dress up as an egg :)  So different from Vera who has wanted to be something girly since she knew the difference!

Anyway, glad I bought Edie's costume as Vera's caused me a bit of stress. Stress that I carried for a few weeks, meaning and planning to get it done and then not really starting until the morning of.  It actually turned out better than I expected though and she was very happy which was most important to me.  I saw a similar tutorial in Real Simple, but kind of did my own thing with 4 hangers, duct tape, some black stretchy fabric I already had and the different color felts. and a lot of super glue!! Michaels also had this fuzzy felty pipe cleaner like thing that was perfect for making shoulder straps [thank you Liz for finding that!].

with our wonderful new neighbors:

I wish I'd taken some pictures of the trick or treating, especially with our little friends.  Edie and Vera were so cute, exclaiming often how heavy their bags were and "look how much candy I have!!"

I think I fixed this video:

Vera was so excited to count and sort her candy with the graph activity she got from school. She was like, Mom I'm doing Math!! I had 7 kit kats and I ate 1 so how many do I have now?