Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Going With the Flow...

I have been feeling a little out of sorts.  Our family all has a bit of a summer cold and the stuffy head doesn't help matters.  The fact that my sister was back in the hospital this past weekend doesn't help either.  It came as a surprise Saturday morning when we heard that she was back because of some swelling.  Everyone thought we were coming to the end of her infection and sickness and no one, more than her, were so very disappointed in this change of events.  However, she managed to set the tone to positive and we are all following suit.  If I haven't said it before she is a crazy strong woman and her and her husband just continue to amaze me with how they are handling this whole ordeal when most would just crawl under a rock and cry.  Since the weekend and week have been changed up from normal because of all this I can't seem to find a flow for writing so I'll go by my stand by that always works and make a list of things that have been making me smile these last few days.  Then my scattered thoughts in my head may seem more organized.  (I love me some organization)

1.  Going with the flow and it turning out awesome.  We had big plans for the weekend to do all the Sweet Pea festival festivities.  It was all to begin Saturday morning with both my sisters and all the kiddos doing the Sweet Pea Children's Run, followed by the parade and then on to the festival.  Obviously, Kori was not going to be able to do this.  So, we do what we do and that's rally.  Nicole headed up to the hospital to check on her and we went and got her kiddos so they could still do the run and free up Kori's hubby to be with her.  Not as planned, but we all ran our hearts out anyways...
Everyone ran the whole way and my nephew, who wanted to "run super fast with Matt" did it in 8 minutes...what a rock star.  After, we stayed for the parade which is always my favorite one that this town puts on each year.  The floats are always colorful and fun and much to the children's happiness there is a ton of candy!  Even though they were all stuffed with candy we headed up the street to our favorite pizza place and chowed down.  (thanks to my fantastic mother-in law who was willing to take in a couple more "grand kids" for the day.  My niece, Kim, calls her Grandma's adorable)  The Sweet Pea Festival is a wonderful three day event full of musicians and artists from all over, however, it is also a little expensive especially when you have a few extra.  S.L.A.M is a new festival in town that is only local musicians, artists and food and is totally free to the public.  As much as I was looking forward to Sweet Pea (I've rarely missed this event) I was so happy that there was a similar festival that was free that we could all go to.  I also dig that it is totally local.  It was much smaller and way more laid back and fun was had by all.
What's better then eating outside with live music?

Cooling off in the creek...

Popsicles & ice cream for kids...

And, beer for the adults...(from local breweries, gotta love that!!)

And kids flying off the stage when the show was over...
Moral of this story...plans may change, but that doesn't have to be a bad thing.  Kids got extra cousin time with bonus sleepovers, we got to try something new and my sister and her husband got to just focus on her getting better knowing their kiddos were having a good time.

2.  Sister Mamas...I know that the correct term is "Aunt" for what I am and what my sisters are to the kids, however with us I think it goes a little deeper then that.  This has always been very apparent with Kori and I as we have been raising the four littles together since they were born.  When Ava and Greg were tiny newborns we both had mastered the art of nursing one baby, while holding a bottle for the other as we passed these babies from one house to the other while one of us was at work.  It continued on as we added Kim and Layla and for the past 7 years (not counting school years) these kids were together on a weekly basis.  I never worried or thought twice when I kissed my babies good bye and left them in Kori's care as I went off to work or on a date night with Matt.  I knew that they were with someone who would love them like they were their own.  Now, my other sister is finally back in town and her and her baby just fall right into this sister mama thing...the kids go seamlessly from one of us to the other...not a care that they are not with their own mom.  (But, always happy when you return)  It's an amazing thing to get to raise your babies with two women who you trust, love and who have so much love to give to what is most precious to you in the world.  And, maybe one of the sister mama's is down for the time being...but she'll be back in fighting form in no time and the cycle of passing kiddos around will continue (and some date nights for all!!!)

3.  The Olympics...Kind of a silly thing to make you smile, but I love watching them.  More then watching them I love how into it Ava and Layla are.  They haven't even gotten to watch that much of them because they have been going to bed early lately, but they are gobbling up what they've been watching.  Today Ava set up a little game, brought out her little American flag and a notebook for scoring.  I'm not sure what the game was, but I kept hearing her exclaiming "Okay that's another one for Team USA, oh and I think China may get the silver"  or "Here comes the California team...I don't think they'll beat Montana"  It was hilarious...even more so because of the confusion between countries and states.  This afternoon we went swimming with the cousins and friends and Ava was doing some swim moves that could only have been from her watching the Olympics.  Kicking off the wall backwards and twisting under water like the swimmers do as they turn.  Who needs swim lessons...just let them watch Olympic swimmers.  It has been a fun part of the last couple weeks...I'll miss them when it's over.

4.  Zucchini...We get way overloaded with this green veggie every summer.  We get them from our CSA share and a ton from our own garden.  In a couple weeks Matt will be rolling his eyes and saying "zucchini again?" as I incorporate it into every meal, however, I don't ever get sick of it.  Just this week I fried some up for appetizers for a night at our neighbors, turned some into zucchini parmesean for my sisters family (my version of chicken parmesean since we don't eat that) and then tonight made it into a pistachio pesto.  I haven't even begun shredding it and throwing it in cookies and brownies which I can't wait for.  I think it is one of the most versatile veggies and when our fridge and garden are overflowing with it, it makes me smile.
5.  Matt's new hobby...Last week Matt decided he wanted to try making something.  It started with him wanting to brew his own beer, which he found out took a lot of time & mess, then thought about cheese but realized how gross aging cheese could actually be.  He then thought of baking bread.  Since Sunday he has made four loafs...a couple ciabbatta and a couple Italian rosemary & garlic bread.  Except for heating up the house in already crazy hot weather, I am benefitting greatly from this hobby.  I LOVE to bake and bread is one of my favorite, however, don't do nearly as much of it in the summer months.  (Instead I buy from a local bakery here in town so we still get the fresh bread without the work)  I must say he is doing quite well and nothing is better then fresh homemade bread to accompany some nice zucchini dish at dinner.

6.  Raspberries with vanilla icecream...I realize the last three points have surrounded food, which seems about right.  Every evening I have been having raspberries right off our bush on top of vanilla ice cream.  I'm not sure what it is about this flavor that I love so much.  Maybe it takes me back to my days working at TCBY when I had white chocolate mousse with raspberries every shift.  Whatever it is, I totally love it.  In fact I think I will wrap this up and go get myself some right now.

So, things may not always go as planned...but it's important to just go with it and find the things that make you smile.  

Enjoy this hot, sunny and beatiful August week.

Pistachio Pesto Pasta with Zucchini
For the pesto:  Combine a handful of shelled pistachios, 1/2 cup parmesean cheese, 1/2 cup olive oil, 2 cloves of garlic, 1 seeded jalapeno, juice of a lime, s&p and some fresh basil or parsley in a food processor and pulse until smooth.  Add more olive oil if needed
-Cook pasta noodles and save some of the pasta water for later (I used penne)
-Heat some olive oil and a little butter in a sauce pan...add sliced zucchini and squash and cook around 10 minutes.
-Toss cooked pasta, pesto and some pasta water until well coated.  Gently stir in zucchini.  It is a little spicy...the girls thought a too much so, but Matt and I liked it that way.  I may use a half a jalapeno next time though for them!

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