Tuesday, July 31, 2012

What's wrong with this picture?

Ever notice that someone usually manages to be amuck in a family photo? Why is it so hard to get several people to smile all at the same time? At least we tried...

Monday, July 30, 2012

Red velvet cupcakes

Red velvet cupcakes...
Milo's been helping me mix it up in the kitchen lately.

And after.

See the beautiful chocolate center? Yummy...

Oh, it's true. I created a masterpiece today. Chocolate-ganache filled red velvet cupcakes with homemade cream cheese frosting. High-five, Kate. I'm pretty proud of myself, and Milo also approved.

Walmart and awesome aren't usually used in the same sentence together in my world...

Brace yourselves, because you're about to hear me say something that I'll more than likely never say again. Ready?
The most awesome thing happened at Walmart today.

A while ago Nate and I saw a movie where Loretta Devine sniped, "Look at you. You are just wearing that hat, aren't you," to a woman who needed to be put in her place. I have literally dreamed about hearing someone say that in real life ever since.

Well, it happened today, and in more of a good way. Milo and I were checking out at Walmart, and the woman at the registered was obviously tickled with Milo, who was, indeed, wearing a little khaki hat. She smiled at him, leaned over the counter, and said, "Well you are just wearing that hat, aren't you, little guy?"

I nearly fainted. I beamed. I became best friends with the Walmart cashier. Yes, Milo was indeed wearing that hat. And I was having the best morning of my life.


We had a new discovery this weekend: Milo LOVES pickles.

Just a pickle seed on his nose...

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Singing along

It's no secret that Milo loves music. He's constantly bobbing his head, dancing, taking a few laps around the dining room to his favorite song... And, of course, singing along. He also has an amazing talent for putzing through every meal - taking his time, nibbling food as he talks, laughs, and does whatever else he can to prolong the experience (for example, right now he's flying pieces of watermelon around like tiny pink planes). Here he is at the height of his messy, bed-headed breakfast experience.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Braden's room re-do

I wish we had a better before picture of Braden's room. Imagine an all-blue wall with nothing on it, and then it became a silhouette of a baseball player hitting a Texas Rangers ball. Pretty cool, right? I don't know how Nate comes up with these things, but I'm newly impressed all the time.

Middle of the project...

Working on details of the ball

Completed ball

After we moved Braden's headboard (and large number of baseball trophies), the room started to come together.

Pretend you're sitting on the bed. This is what you'd see - all kinds of fun baseball paraphernalia.

View from the doorway

One VERY satisfied customer.

Cody's room re-do

So our trip to Melissa this weekend was definitely a work trip - Nate working his magic on his nephews Cody and Braden's rooms. Cody's turned out to be the bigger project, since Nate built industrial frames to go around the two silhouettes and mounted a skateboard to the wall. I don't need to tell you what a genius he is, right? He proves it all the time.

Before - charcoal wall with turqouise box.

Work in progress - silhouettes completed.

Finished project with frames and shelves.

A view from the door of the final result.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Happy birthday, Nate

There are certain days that roll around, and you know they're going to be extra important. Had I known many, many years ago how special July 23rd would always be, I'd have started celebrating it a long time before I even met the handsomest, most amazing man of my life.

Happy birthday, Nate. I love you more than I know how to say.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Undies and Oreos

Yes, this is now the second time you've seen my undies on Milo's head on my blog. Aren't you the lucky one?

Sometimes I'm startling aware that I am one of the most blessed people on the planet. Looking at the picture above, I can't help but realize it. Milo has turned into such a great helper with laundry... And by great helper I mean, he walks around putting things on his head and making me laugh while I fold the clothes, which is a huge help because folding laundry is one of my least favorite tasks. Milo manages to make even the mundane fun for me.

And then there's this - the Daddy/Milo Oreo time. They sit down with a mug of milk, dunking the oreos until they're soggy and then sharing them together. They finish it off by grabbing two straws and drinking the milk. I'm pretty sure I remember a commercial like this from my childhood, and it's even more warm and fuzzy in person.

We're taking a trip to Melissa this weekend to see Stacy and Dede's new house. Should be fun, although car trips with Milo are always hit or miss, happy and sleepy or loud and screamy... Just start saying a prayer right now. Happy weekend!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

The man

I am unashamedly a big old sissy when it comes to certain matters, and bugs are one of those matters. Now, keep in mind, I was pretty sheltered up in Illinois, where the biggest thing you see is a daddy long-legs. I went twenty-one years of my life having never even seen a regular roach, let alone a giant wood roach, until I moved to Lufkin. In fact, the first time I saw one, it was crawling across the floor in my college classroom, headed straight for my backpack, and I was trying to seem mature while climbing from my chair onto my desk and begging the bug to just take my backpack and leave us in peace (yes, it was that big).
So with all that in mind, owning (or renting) a home here in Texas means just one thing to me - you have an exterminator. I don't even just mean you occasionally call one. I mean, there is a man who is programmed into your speed dial, whom you feel comfortable calling at any moment, who has seen you in your pjs with tears streaming down your face, who comes to your home on a regular basis and handles "icky situations."

Our guy is David, and I'm pretty sure he took some courses either in psychology or broadcast radio, because at just the sound of his voice saying, "Okay, Kate, we'll take care of your buuuuugs (he draws out this word in a particularly soothing way that makes bugs seem practically cuddly)," I feel instantly calmer and more safe.

In fact, I felt so at peace today while he addressed the ants that had sneaked into our kitchen (insidious creatures - anything that comes in a pack instead of by itself is especially disturbing), that I just sat in the recliner, humming to myself and knitting a scarf. Oh yeah, another thing about living in Texas in the summer. I have to try to fool myself into thinking it's not the heat of summer by cranking up the air and making knit crafts. It works - I feel cooler already!

So thank you, David. I officially think you're the man.

Monday, July 16, 2012


I'll admit it. Milo and I are dressed alike today. But it wasn't on purpose, just for the record. I threw on this tee-shirt last night, wore it to bed, and then slept until Milo woke up this morning (nothing wrong with that, thank you very much). And as soon as Milo saw one of his favorite aunties on my shirt and started shouting, "Nnnnnn!" I knew we'd be dressed alike for the rest of the day. I set him down and he went trucking off to his room, returning with his very own Ann shirt and a pair of jeans. The rest is history.

And speaking of history, Hurricane Fabio is shaking its long blond tresses over the Pacific Ocean, although he's not expected to make landfall. Too bad. I'm sure there are people chortling all over the coast, saying, "Well, if a storm is going to hit, it might as well be called Fabio."

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Kate's Meatloaf

You know what's weird about me? Well, among many things? I'm a vegetarian who doesn't mind cooking meat for other people. I've been told my meatloaf is pretty fabulous. I've actually just adapted a recipe that started out of the Better Homes & Gardens Cookbook, but changed over time based on what Nate liked and didn't like about it. So, want to know how I do it? Here you go.

1 egg, beaten
¼ cup bread crumbs
¼ cup chopped onion (or more, depending on the day…)
2 tbsp ketchup
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 clove garlic, minced
1 pound ground beef or turkey

½ cup ketchup
¼ cup packed brown sugar
2 tsp Dijon mustard

Preheat oven to 350.
Combine egg, bread crumbs, onion, 2 tbsp ketchup, 1 tbsp Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, and garlic.
Add ground beef and mix well. Pat mixture into a loaf and bake meat loaf for 75 minutes.
Mix together ingredients for glaze, pour over the top of cooked meatloaf, and bake 10 more minutes.
Voila! Yummy meatloaf (or so I’m told – I’ve never tried it).

Thursday, July 12, 2012

July weather

Don't mind us... We're just busy having the best weather in the country right now. I kid you not, I, Kate Jackson, went for a run yesterday morning at 11:00. 11:00 a.m. in the middle of July in Texas, and it was maybe 80 degrees. I'm astounded, delighted, and downright lazy (aside from the one run I got in this week) with this lovely rainy weather. Here's a little inkling of what Milo and I have been doing to keep ourselves busy.
That's right. Just hanging out, wearing relaxing neck pillows and building with blocks. A picture says a thousand words. Hope your week (and your weather) is as divine as ours!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Dance Parties and Pjs

Ohhhh, Milo. Nate and I were just talking about how he keeps us laughing all the time. Like this morning, when he was determined to wear his new shoes over his pajamas.

Always on the move

Such a little man!
And then there's our favorite rainy-day activity - dance parties. Which, in Milo's case, amount to quite the workout when he gets going, because he just has to take off when the music gets extra loud or driving. We were listening to Peer Gynt Suite 1 (In the Hall of the Mountain King), and he didn't know quite what to do with himself... Nate got this on video after Milo and I had already done the same thing for at least thirty minutes before he even got home. I don't know if he was tired, but I definitely was!

Monday, July 9, 2012

DIY Tank Monday

Aha! Look what I've done! Oh yes, I've been crafting again, and this time with jersey knit fabric. I've honestly never sewn with it, so this was an adventure... The kind of adventure where you cut one shape out of a fabric, hold it up, and it's an entirely different shape than what you started with. Fun times. But I got the hang of it, and yesterday whipped out a long gray maxi skirt and this little half striped, half gray tank. The ruffle detail is covering a crazy looking seam, but isn't that what embelishments are for? Oh wait, they're just for cuteness? Right. That's what I meant.

Anyway, the beauty of making your own pieces is that you can make them as long, wide, racerbacked, whatever as you want to. So I did all of those things, and I'll have to take pictures of the skirt as well (I've already got an order from a friend for one of her own). What on earth did we do before Pinterest and YouTube showed us all these things to keep us busy?

If you're in the mood for some crafting, here's the link to the tank tutorial, and when I get some pictures of the skirt, I'll share as well. The pictures might be more impressive if I hadn't taken them myself in the mirror, but you just get what you get, okay? Happy Monday, friends.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Happy 5th!

Happy 5th of July! Okay, so I missed wishing you a happy 4th yesterday, but keep in mind we celebrated our independence all day long. Milo ate chocolate donuts for breakfast, practically skipped his nap, and stayed up extra late for fireworks. Now that, my friend, happens only once a year.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Ready for a walk

This boy is ready for a walk. Covered in sunscreen, sporting the hat and shades, and drinking water before we even leave the house. This, my friends, is how we do things Texas-style. It's either that or pass out dehydrated.

Monday, July 2, 2012


I show you this picture, not only to prove how adorable Milo is, but as a "before" shot. Nate gave Milo a haircut yesterday, and I applaud not only his braveness, but his perfect execution. Check out the "after."
Now, why in the world do we have so many photos of Milo in my rain galoshes and no pants? Well, I'd think it was obvious. There's no chance to wear pants when the boots come up higher than your crotch. Let's be reasonable, people. (And he loves to climb into them, and every time he does, he points at the camera. Oh yes, we're raising a little performer here...)

Of course, I took some other pictures when he was eating lunch in the high chair. Two times Milo is still enough for a good picture - when he's trapped in giant galoshes, and when he's trapped in his high chair. Sensing a theme here? Yep, that's how I roll.

So there you go. Winning haircut, happy Milo, super-talented Nate. We're just a class act around here.