Problem, meet Solution

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Friday, September 30, 2011 at 10:22 PM


I love to bake. And cook. And try new recipes. (I might have mentioned this.) For reference, over the last few weeks, I have made 20 new recipes I have found on Pinterest, and I have the ingredients for 3 more this next week.

This is a Good Thing.

However, I am also often in a hurry to get everything done. And when that happens, this happens.

(Those burns are two weeks and one week old, respectively. And you can't see the healing blister on my right palm.)

But I figured it out! And in true Wizzle fashion, I scoured every website of every oven mitt purveyor in the continental United States, until I found just the right one.

Hopefully this will cut down on people asking me if I have a very aggressive cat.

Kid funny

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Thursday, September 29, 2011 at 9:04 PM


Background: Devlin and Eve, 8 and 5 respectively, are responsible for cleaning the bathrooms in our house. Do they do a great job? Absolutely not. But it's just good enough that I only touch them up if we are having guests or something. And it's a damn sight better than me doing it myself.

More background: David and I have not had a working toilet, or indeed any toilet at all, in our master bathroom for about 6 months. We finally received the new commode yesterday, where the children discovered it in our entryway when they arrived home from school.

(Yes, we have a toilet. In our foyer. It's in a box, so you wouldn't know, unless I told you. Which I now have. So you can marvel at how classy we are next time you're over, unless by some miracle we get it installed first.)

Eve, walking in the door and clearly hoping the Giant Box contains Many Barbies or something similarly beneficial to her personally: Mom, what's in that big box?

Me: It's the new potty! So Daddy and I don't have to walk down the hallway in the dark anymore. Won't that be nice?

Eve: heaving sobs

Me: mystified silence

Eve, barely regaining the power of coherent speech: But MOM, I hate this potty! Now there's just one more I have to clean!

Eve, there's no point in trying to sugarcoat the situation. That is exactly the long and short of it. But you'll only have to do it until your own kids are old enough to take over!


Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Wednesday, September 28, 2011 at 10:17 PM


Haircut day is my very most favorite of all the days.

Birthday Birthday Baptism

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Tuesday, September 27, 2011 at 9:38 PM


If I could have picked, I would not have chosen to have two children with birthdays five days apart.

Obviously, I am not in charge.

I've taken a few days to recover, but from Saturday the 17th to Saturday the 24th of September, I survived and/or enjoyed the following:

- hosting a Pampered Chef party
- Devlin's birthday
- Iris and Devlin's joint extended-family birthday dinner
- the Primary Program (my church's yearly hour-long Extravaganza of Childhood, aka Total Raging Chaos, of which I was in charge of the musical portion)
- Iris's birthday
- Iris and Devlin's joint "birthday party"
- Devlin's baptism

Plus, you know, all the usual stuff I do, which sadly is not all pedicures and bonbons. The entire week was completely devoid of either, actually.

I was tired.

But I'm better now.

Want to see some pictures?

Devlin received, among other things, a great many Harry Potter Lego sets. He built them all within days:

He also got a pack of colored Sharpie markers and several rolls of colored duct tape, which might sound like strange gifts unless you know his fondness for Constructing Things Out of Trash. He is in heaven making satchels for all his classmates entirely out of duct tape.

And I just snapped this little photo of his bed, because it is just so representative. He is always reading at least 4 books at once, and he'll have multiple bookmarks in each book. I don't know if he ever actually finished any of them. He claims to, but I can't follow his dizzying non-linear process so he could just be making that up.

He's reading all of those. At the same time. And there are sure to be at least three more on the nightstand.

What you can't see in this picture is the piles of smoking rubble that constitute the rest of his room, in the wake of his bottomless appetite for books. He is a slob, that's s-l-o-b, and no mistake. Apparently it's part of the "gifted" constellation of traits, although his teacher may have just said that to make me feel better.

Iris had a birthday too, and she enjoyed it to the soles of her feet. Just like she does everything she encounters.

That's a package of all-pink Starburst, and a pink milkshake. You don't have to be three years old to see the magic there!

We had an impromptu lunch with Iris's awesome Granny (seriously, is she not so beautiful? I hope I look this cool when I'm the grandmother.)

Now I hate throwing kid birthday parties (no amount of money, planning, or artful cupcake design will make them anything but unmitigated mayhem and LOUD to boot). So, luckily for me, the birthday kids just wanted pizza for their big days, and specifically they wanted Grimaldi's pizza. So we took them to Grimaldi's and called it a night!

The traditional pizza-dough-facial-hair activity:

The pizza was good, but the dinner included Eve tipping off her chair backward, Devlin knocking over his beverage, and all three children, when asked if we wanted to see a dessert menu, announcing in their OUTSIDE VOICES that we were going to McDonald's to get ice cream, so we had no need of their fancy overpriced dessert menu.

(I submit that if they had just given us a nice birthday treat, like I assumed they would when I notified them at the reservation desk that our party contained two birthday children, we would not have had to resort to 79 cent ice cream cones nor subject them to the embarrassment of the announcement.)

And last, but not least, Devlin turned 8 this year. And in our church, eight years is the age at which children can be baptized. We believe that children should be old enough to understand what they are doing when they decide to become members of the church - but I have to say, at eight years old, Devlin cannot be reliably counted upon to flush the toilet, so I'm suspicious of his ability to make any determinations regarding his eternal salvation.

Let's be honest: I'm 30, and I am so far from feeling like I know anything about anything that I have my doubts that 8 years old is a reasonable age to be making decisions like this.

But I guess you have to draw the line somewhere.

And when it comes to matters like this, I really do trust my gut. (I think in church, you're supposed to call it "the Spirit".) It's that Little Voice in my heart that tells me "this is right" or "this is not right". I listen to that Voice, and trust that everything will sort itself out in the end. It doesn't lead me astray.

The Voice told me that Devlin's baptism was right.

I asked Devlin later that day how he felt. He was glowing, and I wanted to know what was in his head.

He squinted, thinking. "I feel all jingly."

He smiled.

"Jingly, and bouncy."

I know just what he meant.

I am the luckiest human alive.

Winner winner chicken dinner

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Monday, September 26, 2011 at 8:34 AM


If I were a real, fancy blogger, I would know how to do a screen shot, but as it is you'll just have to trust me. chose its favorite number between 1 and 98 and the winner is...

#60 - or, in other words, Cristina!

Cristina, I will be contacting you to claim your prize. Maybe we can meet at LGO?

Thank you everyone for your support and participation. I love being able to share a little slice of my life with you, and I thoroughly enjoyed you sharing a bit of yours with me. The commentors with whom I am personally acquainted listed wonderful traits of theirs that I know them to possess, and admire in them already. And those of you who I only know through this blog sound like the kind of people I would want to know in real life.

The world is a beautiful place. People are beautiful.

Life is beautiful.

Giveaway time!

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Friday, September 23, 2011 at 1:36 PM


Well, you all set a land speed record for "fastest to 50 followers" so it looks like it's time for some fun!

When I did my last giveaway, I gave one entry per commenter, because I didn't want to be greedy or drive people to sign up to follow my blog. Why should you, after all? I don't have sponsors or anything that depends on my traffic or stats or anything like that.

But this time, I've decided to do it just a little differently, and here's why.

Some of you check in here every day (probably because you are related to me), but some people only check in now and again. So what about all my friends and readers who don't happen to pop in during the giveaway?

Doesn't seem fair to me.

So this time, there are a couple of ways to enter:

one entry for following my blog (remember, click "join this site" if you want to enter this way and you don't already follow me).

one entry for commenting here with something you love about yourself (click the white blob with a number in it to the right of the post title to comment).

And in return for you sharing your light with me - I'm so looking forward to all the wonderful energy flowing in all weekend and getting to know you all just a little bit better - the giveaway prize will be something that *I* love. I will tailor it to the winner, depending on whether he or she is local or not, etc.

The giveaway will be open for entries until Sunday night, September 25th, at midnight Mountain Standard Time. I will announce a winner Monday morning (maybe very early Monday morning, knowing me).

Thank you all for your readership and support here. I can't wait to go shopping for the winner!



Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Thursday, September 22, 2011 at 9:48 PM


I don't know exactly what is the point of my little blog here.

It's not quite a journal.

It's not just a scrapbook of my kids' shenanigans achievements.

It's definitely not crafting nirvana.

I don't have a business.

I don't have any sponsors.

I hardly even have any readers! (Hi, Mom.)

It's just me, and my life, and whatever I feel like talking about.

But 47 people follow my blog, and that's awfully close to 50. And I've been thinking for awhile that when I get to 50 followers, I would do a little giveaway.

How does that sound?

I don't know what it's going to be yet, but it will be fun, because it's me! And I'm fun.

If you're the impatient type, and you've been lurking, feel free to come out of the closet, say hello, click "join this site" over there on the right side of the page, and speed things up a little for everyone.

Have fun, and I'll check in again tomorrow!

My Buddy

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Wednesday, September 21, 2011 at 9:43 PM


Isn't she the most wonderful, wonderful, wonderful thing?

Vintage Modern

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Tuesday, September 20, 2011 at 7:50 PM


Remember my dining set? The one I got from Craigslist for such a steal?

Well, I hosted a Pampered Chef party last weekend - and while most people clean their kitchen for such an event, I take things one step farther (dare I say "too far"? I think I do) and reupholster my dining chairs for the event.

People, I am not bragging. It is a sickness.

Anyway, for better or for worse, it is done, so I thought I would share the process.

First, acquire yourself some beautiful, sturdy chairs that have ugly fabric. The uglier it is, the more motivated you will be to get rid of it. Check.

You can paint them, of course, if you want (or better yet, have a professional do it). I chose not to paint these, because a) my husband dislikes painted wood furniture, and b) I really liked the grain and color of this wood, and the beautiful patina of age. This set is at least 40 years old.

Can't you imagine all the hands that have worn that back smooth? Gorgeous.

Next, you should spend as much time as you feel necessary choosing the perfect fabric to recover your chairs. (This step not pictured). Some things to consider are:

- fabric (what care does it require? Is it stain treated?)

- color and pattern (will it look dated in a couple of years? Honestly, reupholstering is so easy that if you want to redo it often, it's no big deal, but it's still smart to pick something that has some longevity.)

- scale (the size and impact of the pattern. The surface of a dining chair is not very big, so if you choose a very large-scale pattern, you are going to have to cut your fabric carefully to make sure the pattern is showcased to its best advantage on each chair. This will require you to buy more fabric. For my 4 chairs, I bought 2 yards, and I have enough leftover to do at least 3 chairs over again if they get stained or something, because the scale of the fabric allowed me to use it very efficiently.)

Once you have sourced your fabric, take off the existing upholstery by unscrewing the seats from the chair frame and removing all the staples used to secure the fabric to the seat (I use a flat head screwdriver and needle-nose pliers).

(That's a lot of staples. Whoever put that fabric on the first time clearly thought it would be on forever.)

Pull off the fabric carefully and check the condition of the padding underneath. You may need to replace it, if it is stinky, dirty, or inadequate for bum-cushioning purposes. When I have redone seats including the padding, I use a foam layer and a layer of batting.

In this case, the padding was in excellent condition, and since it was "cotton waste" batting - already a thoughtful, green material - I thought it was incumbent upon me to reuse it yet once more.

Now, lay your seats, with the padding, on the fabric so you can cut it to fit. (This is always the scariest part for me. Everything can be undone if necessary - except cutting fabric. It gives me anxiety, and not that many things make me anxious. Cutting fabric, and Kid Noise. That's about it.)

In this case, it wasn't really a big deal, because I knew I had plenty of fabric to work with, and because I had carefully chosen a fabric with an easy scale and pattern to work with. This fabric didn't matter which way was up, and I didn't have to lay it out carefully to make sure some of all the colors were included on each seat. It really was perfect fabric!

(Note at this stage: be sure to look over your fabric for blemishes or other defects, because even if you pay $20 or $50 or $100 a yard, and it's made in the USA, and a name brand and all, it's probably going to have some, and you want to avoid those if you can. I neglected to do this, and it shows. Luckily, I am not a perfectionist and it doesn't bother me. Much.)

I always use an air stapler for this next part. (And I don't take pictures, because I'm operating n air stapler with three small children around.) You literally just lay the fabric right-side down, put your seat and padding on it, pull the fabric tight, and start stapling! Put one staple in the middle of each side to start with, so it stays centered. I usually do a couple of more go-rounds all the way around the seat before I start really tightening down any one area, just to make sure the tension is even all the way around. Leave the corners for last.

Speaking of the corners, I don't have any special tricks. Just think of it like making a bed - tucking in the sheets, you know - and eyeball it from underneath before you staple it up good to make sure it lays nicely.

Screw the seats back onto the frames, and voila!

Just like that! Now, put them back in your kitchen and admire them as much as you like. Mine still give me a little leap of joy every time I walk by, and it's been days.

That's a lot of bang for your buck, if you ask me.

Minty Fresh

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Monday, September 19, 2011 at 9:17 PM


I bought a skirt last week at Deseret Industries.

Now, finding an item of clothing made from a natural fiber at DI is cause for celebration. If that item also a) fits, b) is attractive, and c) doesn't smell like a cat or a cadaver, then you better go ahead and buy that item, and a lottery ticket while you're at it.

I had this very nice wool pencil skirt on in the dressing room, and was having a conversation in my head:

"Hmmm, it fits really well. I never met a pencil skirt I didn't like."

"The color, though! I love green, but I don't know about this green. It looks like a church lady grandmother on Easter Sunday. Funeral potatoes, anyone?"

"Pffft, it's fine. It will be hip and ironic on a young person. Everything old is new again!"

"Okay, maybe. It's $5, though. If it were $2, I would totally buy it. I'm going to have to think long and hard about it for $5."

"You're lucky this conversation is in your head, because then only *you* know you are crazy. It's a beautiful wool skirt, smelling of absolutely nothing, for $5. Put it in the dang cart already!"

So I did.

And then I got it home, and I panicked because I couldn't get it to play nice with the rest of my wardrobe. No matter what I tried it with, it looked matronly and obnoxiously minty.

I contemplated dyeing it, but some very nice friends came over just at the right moment and persuaded me to give it another shot.

Success! If you don't have a striped blazer, I suggest you acquire one as soon as possible. It is the great equalizer: so unassailably timeless that it drags whatever else you pair it with right into the present moment. I love this one because it is knit, so it feels more like a nice cozy cardigan than a stiff jacket.

So thank you to everyone who contributed their opinions, and here is the breakdown for those of you who like that sort of thing:

Knit blazer: Anthropologie
T-shirt: Downeast Basics (if anyone has a source for good quality, affordable basic Ts that don't make you look like a stuffed sausage, I would love to hear it.)
Belt: Anthropologie
Skirt: Pendleton, thrifted
Shoes: Last Chance (these are sort of a raisin color, and I have yet to find anything they don't go with)
Silver Bracelet: Target


Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Friday, September 16, 2011 at 6:54 PM


For my final post of the week, I could show you this picture and tell you about how Devlin and Iris played outside while Eve was at ballet class.

I could tell you how we are enjoying, from top to toe, this amazing gift of a September (it never cools off like this for at least another month!)

I could tell you how I went running this morning and rocked a really adorable outfit all day.

I could tell you how we got slushies at Sonic and made cookies and went to the farmer's market and I had a nice long nap.

I could leave it at that.

Or I could tell you about how I am stressing out because I have to have my house clean tomorrow, including reupholstering 4 chairs and chopping a fridge full of vegetables, and it's not looking good at the moment.

I could tell you how the only help I will have in this department are the three little people who made everything such a mess in the first place.

I could tell you about my continual despair over my white kitchen counters, and how in my efforts to prepare more meals for my family - for our health and our budget - and I am so frogging tired of meal prep and cleanup and walking to the garbage/recycle/compost 80,000 times a day to throw away this little scrap of pipe cleaner or that soggy brown bit of apple.

I could tell you how, if I find another shoe-full-of-sand under my kitchen table, I'm going to make someone wash their mouth out with a paste made from that sand, and watch and laugh while they do it.

And I could tell you how I totally lost my temper (with good reason, but still) and in my frustration and anger broke both my door frame and our chess set - the one that was David's when he was a little boy.

I could tell you how I scared Iris and made her cry because I yelled so loud.

Both of these days were my day today.

What should I choose to make public?

What face should I present to the world?

Ah, the conundrum of blogging!

(By the way: Keiko, if you are reading this, you might want to let Jeff know I have a couple more woodworking jobs for him.)

I am happy to report that after heartfelt hugs and apologies all around and a $7.62 dinner bill at Little Caesar's, the spirit of contention has dissolved and everything is fine.

(Except the chess set.)

(But even that can be fixed.)

And maybe some day I will learn to overcome these aspects of my personality that bring me and my family so much grief.

Here's to tomorrow: fresh, with no mistakes in it.


Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Thursday, September 15, 2011 at 9:50 PM


Iris is a lucky child.

Already, at not-quite-three, she has been to Disneyland more than once. (My sister lives in Southern California and, well, if we happen to visit her, and we happen to drive by Disneyland at the same time, that's very convenient, isn't it?) She loves everything about it. The fireworks, the tram, the face painters, the Dumbo ride, the flowers, the princesses, the smashed pennies, and especially "Ickey Mouse".

She loves Disneyland so much, she even lights up when we drive into the dark concreteness of the parking garage. The toll booth holds no downside for her; it is the Gateway to Happiness. We drive up and up and up the many levels, guided by the first smiling "cast members" of the day to our parking space, and she knows what is coming.

She is in heaven.

(I have to confess, Disneyland - yes, even the parking garage - has the exact same effect on me.)

Last week, I was driving to Scottsdale Mall with Iris in the back seat. She still wasn't used to her brother and sister being in school, and she was talking her fool head off to compensate. I alternately ignored, deflected, and answered what questions I could, as indicated by common sense and my limited patience.

As we came to our destination, the mall was crowded that day and I was having a hard time finding a covered parking spot. I drove around the first level of the gray garage, looking for an open space.


No luck. Up the ramp.


I round another dark corner. "Hold on, sweetie. Almost there." Narrowly avoid collision with larger, blingier vehicle than my own.


I pull into a spot on garage level 3, put the car in park, and turn around with a sharp exhale. "Iris, what on earth do you want?"

Her eyes were shining.

"Mom, is dis Disneyland?"

* * * * *

My friends, when every parking garage could have Disneyland on the other side of it, your life is a happy one.

I have a lot to learn.

A Perfect Match

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Tuesday, September 13, 2011 at 6:09 PM


Just a little rainy-afternoon chess at our house.

This setup is perfect because to say Devlin "hates to lose" is like saying Michael Jackson had "a little work done". It just doesn't quite go far enough.

So he taught Eve, who is 5, to play chess two days ago - and he forces checkmate every time.

She doesn't mind a bit, because she just imagines she is winning and that's good enough for her.

(I'm just grateful not *every single* small person in my house has that violently, tearfully, explosively competitive spirit. Only one out of three would be awesome. Iris will be the tiebreaker. Cross your fingers.)

4 dozen

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Monday, September 12, 2011 at 7:52 PM


Not to toot my own horn...

...but man, I wish I didn't make such amazing cookies!

Food coma setting in now.

Culture vultures

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Friday, September 9, 2011 at 10:29 PM


Eve needed a new black leotard for her first day of ballet class this semester today. Once Upon A Child almost always comes through for me in the dancewear department, and today was no exception. I got leos for both girls - and of course this sweet yellow skirt just absolutely had to come home with me too.

(You can't see it, but she has a matching yellow flower in her hair. It is very nearly as big as the entire back of her head.)

I neglected to get a picture of Iris in her getup yesterday for her inaugural class of the season. Probably because I had to have one hand on her at all times so she didn't twirl herself into traffic, due to the unbearably high level of excitement over the Donning of the Tap Shoes and Wearing Them In Public.

P.S. Eve wants to know if you came to my performance tonight. If not, you should definitely come tomorrow. There weren't too many open seats tonight, and it's sure to be full so call quick! It is really beautiful.

(Almost as beautiful as a yellow ballerina skirt.)

An Education

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Wednesday, September 7, 2011 at 9:51 PM


I just have to say this. For me.

My children attend public school. The closest, regular old heathen public school.

But make no mistake, they are also "educated at home".

Want to educate yourself, too? David and I are singing Friday and Saturday in this production at Gammage at Arizona State University, and I guarantee it will enrich your life experience. Tickets are still available and are very affordable. Come see us, okay?

Stream of Consciousness

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Tuesday, September 6, 2011 at 8:33 PM


(stolen from here, as things on my blog sometimes/often are.)

My mind is a vast, barren wasteland as of late. I have one big, serious post I have been meaning to compose for months, but I am waiting for a day when I have consecutive time, interest, and motivation to pursue a big project like that.

So, I wouldn't hold your breath.

In the meantime, you get crap like this. Sorry.

* * * * *

Speaking of holding your breath, the kids were going to go swimming this afternoon, but instead we got to go pick up David from Bo's Motor Works, where a lovely tow truck met us with his car-that-wouldn't-start. Cross your fingers for a quick recovery, small bill, and no whammies.

* * * * *

And it turns out swimming would have been gross anyway, because the pool is dirty, because one/some/all of our darling children left a tiny squirtgun, a bouncy ball, a rubber duck, and a diving stick in the pool last time they swam and they had all conspired to block up the filter. At least this problem is easily solved, for less than $3000.

They get to try again tomorrow.

* * * * *

I am currently having a dilemma because I want to catch up on Project Runway and Design Star. Because we recently changed our TV-watching setup, I have to view both of those programs on the computer. Not even I can blog on my laptop, watch TV on my laptop, AND fold the laundry all at the same time. Who will win? Stay tuned to find out!

* * * * *

I've just finished reading a book about a boy who grew up in complete, abject poverty and starvation, siblings dying all around him, cleaning other people's chamber pots and licking the grease off stolen fish-and-chips wrappers for dinner. This is making my technology problems, and all my problems, feel very foolish altogether.

* * * * *

But I still wish I just just watch my dang TV shows on the dang TV.

* * * * *

Tomorrow is the first week of library storytime after the summer hiatus, and the next day is Iris's first dance class of the semester. This is such wonderful, wonderful news. She cried for 10 minutes today because I made her take off her tap shoes.

* * * * *

Bah. I forgot to put bread in the oven earlier. After I finish this, before I turn on Project Runway, I am doing that. Don't let me forget.

* * * * *

Sounds like the last load of laundry is dry. This is reaching red alert level. I am out of baskets.

* * * * *

Okay, between my empty skull, the bread, the laundry, and my double-booked laptop, I think I am signing off for the night.

* * * * *

I challenged myself to blog every weekday, and sometimes the biggest part of success is just showing up. So I showed up today.

Maybe tomorrow I will actually bring something to the table.

The Book, the Beach, and the Blessing

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Monday, September 5, 2011 at 8:13 PM


Lucky for you, I finished Angela's Ashes, so I can participate in the blogging world again.

(I'm halfway through 'Tis, the next volume in this gentleman's fascinating life, but it's not nearly as bleak so I can multitask while I enjoy that one!)

This weekend, I was lucky enough to be able to go to Los Angeles to see my little sister bless her first baby, and get some extended-family time into the bargain. (Oh, how I wish I had a picture on my camera of the whole Dalton-Moffat family at the church after the ceremony! I have to say, we were a seriously good-looking bunch of people. Even for L.A.)

Our main activity was Santa Monica beach on Saturday, and while I am still a rank amateur at the whole beach thing (chair? umbrella? TOWELS? all for wimps!), we managed to have a beautiful time, and only left when it got too cold.

(Oh, and when Iris started literally burying her head in the sand like a tiny ostrich out of pure insane tiredness. That was also a cue to leave.)

Very first thing out of the gate, I had occasion to teach my youngest child how to pee in the ocean. If it's good enough for God's aquatic creatures, it's good enough for me:

I did, in a rare moment of lucidity, think to bring cups for the kids to dig in the sand with:

And oh, the sand! I know it's a beach and all, but man that stuff does get everywhere!

(No, she isn't retaining fluid. Her feet always look like that.)

The sea air does amazing things for my girls' hair:

And I discovered the secret to looking tan(ish) - get a white bathing suit! Genius!

Who needs all their teeth anyway?

It helps to have a backside like this to take the focus off:

We don't have as many pictures of Eve, because she is not very keen on the actual water, so she tends to lurk stealthily around the fringes. Devlin, on the other hand, fears no freezing wave:

He would stay at the beach all day, every day, in any weather. He has always been this way, ever since his first venture into the Pacific on a December day when he was only a few months old.

And the wonderful, wonderful family time! Auntie Em was the one to console Iris with towels and hugs:

And she even let me borrow Jasper (and his favorite wrap!) later for some snuggle time:

The weather, the company, the lime trees, the salt was all just lovely. It was a beautiful occasion and I'm so glad I got to be part of it. Maybe next time I'll remember to take some pictures of the actual main event? (David took all of these that you see here, and aren't I grateful he did!)