Flying the Friendly Skies

Travis has enlarged his circle of flying buddies, going from flying solo to flying with a whole entourage of "pilots." It's fun.

We're going out again tonight to watch all the planes in their various flight paths.

There's always some action at the sidelines.

And, are these wompous-eyed boys future pilots? Time will tell. For now, they'll just throw rocks, chase each other around and play with stick swords while their Dads fly the friendly skies.


Restless Natives
It's one of those Fridays (translation: I'm ready for some time off). While I'm wrestling the natives today, I will be thinking about these things that I want to do really, really bad:
  • Learn how to make paper flowers
  • Go to Unique Thrift on the West Side
  • Start making advent calendars for the shop
  • Find a 10K to run this Fall
  • Make a chocolate cake
  • Find some good deals on cute clothes
  • Look for yard sales for tomorrow (the rain might put a damper on that one)
  • Find the perfect Fall boot: brown leather, please

Who do you think is going to last longer: me or the youngin's?


Summer Va-cay
We've been back from our crazy trip out West for several weeks and I'm still thinking about it. It was fun, busy, filled with my favorite people and exhausting all at the same time. It included 6 flights, one car crash, several car seat changes, lots of sand and who knows how many loads of laundry. I laughed, I (for once) didn't cry, and I was so happy to have spent time with family and friends. Here's a little photo tour of some of the highlights.

Grandpa Bruneel crooning, "Ride, Sally, Ride." Word is he's selling his tractor and starting his own band.
Rockstar Lucy Schuller playing back-up.

De-80-fying Whitney's fireplace. That was only the beginning.

Oregon Coast tidepools at sunset.

Campfire on the beach with s'mores.

Clapping with Miles.

The newlyweds. (Travis' brother Jordan married a beautiful, nice Russian girl named Natasha). Lucy loved her dress.


Miraculous Transformation

I have been putting off the craft nook for a long time now. After the table was finished, I figured I'd better get the rest of the room in ship shape. I'll take you through my method of organization. First, touch everything. Get rid of things you don't want or need or that don't belong in the space.

While you're making your way through your belongings, it's helpful to take everything out of their containers. This gives you a clean slate and allows you to put things back into containers that maybe fit better than their original home.

Third, put like items together. (I can tell you from experience that this is addicting. I've starting doing this with everything in my home. Even my fridge is starting to look somewhat pulled together).

Fourth, put like items together in containers.

And voila! You have created your own order from the chaos.

Ahhhh, I feel much better about having that job done. I feel like a weight has been lifted (I don't know if it's cause I can cross it off my to-do list now, or that all of my hobby-ish stuff is neatly contained, but it really eases some mental tension).


Toothly Visits

This was little Miss plastic sparkly shoes at the school clinic yesterday.

Finn got his annual pre-preschool dental exam and it was a special treat this year that his Daddy got to do it.

No cavities!


Waking Up to Bliss
I like cookies and cake. Alot. Travis is a pie person. And I like to bake (something about the precision of measuring ingredients and the magical transformation of dough into a finished baked product). I would bake cookies on a daily basis if I knew I would resist eating the whole batch. But I am not that strong-willed. In fact, today, we went on a bikeride just to get some cookies at the bakery. [Travis had installed a new bike seat on my bike for Miles...it was awesome. Freedom. With Finn and Lucy in the carriage behind us, it was a great feeling being able to bike around and have my kids with me.] So, anyways, I thought I would catalog what I ate yesterday. I am always interested in what other people eat, so maybe this will interest you too.
Breakfast 8:30 AM....oatmeal with soy milk (sometimes with crushed almonds or walnuts), an apple
10:30....chocolate protein powder drink
Lunch....Sauteed tempeh, mushrooms, onions and zucchini
Snack....3 PM {My new favorite treat} Nabisco Famous Chocolate Wafers with cream cheese frosting (I always have to have something sweet when I wake up from my short afternoon nap)
Dinner 5:30 PM....Salad: chickpeas, pinto beans, Parisian blend lettuce, salsa, ranch dressing, Roma tomato, cucumber, crushed whole grain Melba Toast
Snack 9 PM....True North peanut, almond and pecan clusters
I think the wafers would also be good with Nutella, or whipped cream and raspberries, or as a crust for an ice-cream pie. I even put peanut butter chips on them too. It's fun to discover a new treat. Any suggestions for my next new post-nap treat?


My neighbor John and I share a love of Southern desserts. (His wife is from Jackson, Mississippi, where I was born, and where my Dad was born and raised). He puts a bug in my ear that he likes pecan pie and I can't resist baking him a pie (it's the baker in me I guess). Plus, he's always giving my kids sugar-free popsicles and treats and little promotional toys with "Progressive Insurance" on them. And, because his wife is diabetic, I know she doesn't make him treats. So, this coconut cake was per his request. Save shaving the coconut by hand, I made it all from scratch. I took it over to him tonight as he was coming in from taking out the trash. Holding the heavy cake in his hands, he said enthusiastically, "This one is gone!" I came home and still had a smile on my face as I was rotating loads of laundry. That guy cracks me up. Maybe next time it'll be red velvet cake.
If you want the recipe, I used Ina Garten's Coconut Cake. But, for our one of our family's traditional recipes, you can go to my sister Whitney's blog.


In With the New

After going back and forth between the paint or au naturale debate (on my beloved deal of a chandelier) I decided to leave it unpainted and see how I liked it. Done deal. I don't think it needs to be painted. I like it just how it is. This is it hanging over our Sunday dinnerscape. Do you think it wishes it were human just to try the cider-glazed salmon or cream-braised cabbage?

And remember these old table legs I bought from my neighbor for $5?

VOILA! Leave it to T. Schuller to work miracles in carpentry...

...and his pixied assistant to paint, stain and shellac.

I love it. I can't wait to set up shop and start using this little space of my own.


Funkyman Junk Sale

Once in a blue moon, a yard sale will have JUST what I have been looking for. Yesterday was one of those. I went to the Funky Man's sale last year and came away with lots of cool vintage pottery. This year I found the little kelly green metal table of my dreams, a solid wood shelf for my craft room, another small shelf for my craft room and a $15 crystal chandelier. I couldn't believe I had a car full of cool stuff for so cheap. The two old men hosting the sale were also alot of fun to haggle with.

Now my only question is: should I paint the chandelier a different color? White? Black? Please let me know your thoughts. I'm stumped.



{side swoop bangs}

{brushed forward bangs}
Usually when I'm feeling the need to control something, I get my hair cut (trimming my fingernails, painting a wall or baking usually do the trick too). I already had an appointment and after seeing this beautiful picture of one of my favorite actresses, I decided to bite the bullet and go pixie short. Plus, I have these baby hairs framing my face that won't grow past the one inch point. So I decided that instead of fighting what nature had given me, I might as well accept it and cut the rest of my hair to match those angel wispies. That was the second brave thing I did today. The first was kind of embarassing, but since this is my blog, I will share that instead of hating the underwear lines beneath my spandex running shorts, I went commando to the gym. It was pure freedom. I may or may not do that again. You guess.


For Emily: Birthday Wishes
See? Even in her running garb, Emily still looks pretty. And, on top of that, she's outdoorsy, musical, artistic, creative, funny, active and thrifty. We shared twin beds in Charlotte and that sealed the deal: we have been best friends for most of our lives (excepting a few dry spells in high school when I erroneously thought I knew more about her life than she did). I love you, Emily! I hope you are enjoying a delicious birthday cake and hearing the songs of friends.



The Schuller line has a 4-generation tradition of taking pictures of the baby boys at 9 months of age, laying on their stomachs with no clothes. Miles was due for his photo shoot. As most 9 month old babies, he had a difficult time maintaining his prone position, opting to crawl at the cameraman instead. We got a keeper though. It will go on Grandpa Robby's wall, joining the collection that spans 83 years. Way to go Miles!