Sunday, January 23, 2011

2011 Resolutions

We're thinking if we put them in writing, then we'll hold ourselves more accountable. We'll see if it works. As we go throughout the year, we'll update the list and see how we do. 11 resolutions for 2011.
Hope 2011 brings you and your families many happy moments!

Gavin 2011 Resolutions
  1. Potty trained before Santa visits on 12/25/11.
  2. Say the alphabet
  3. Throw & catch a baseball
  4. Hit a ball off of a tee
  5. Write my name
  6. Continue to try new foods and eat fruits & vegetables
  7. Learn to ride a tricycle
  8. Count to 20
  9. Participate in 3 races with mom and/or dad
  10. Learn at least 10 more sign language words
  11. Move to a big boy bed (& stay there all night)
Barb 2011 Resolutions
  1. Attend a computer class at least once a month
  2. Blog at least once a week
  3. Send mail or call more (not e-mail or text)
  4. No more "F" word
  5. Publish Cute As A Button website (not the template that I use and pay for now, but one that I create all on my own...thank you computer classes).
  6. Start a blog for Cute As A Button
  7. Attend sewing classes
  8. Get new participants in the running club
  9. Find a way to volunteer my time in my community
  10. Lose 10 pounds
  11. More time at the gym to utilize the monthly membership I pay for :-)
Jason 2011 Resolutions
  1. Help with the monthly banking reconciliation
  2. Setup and manage family investment accounts
  3. Focus on one-on-one time with Gavin outside of the house
  4. Train and compete in the Seville Triathlon
  5. Utilize the gym more; at least twice a week
  6. Help Gavin achieve his resolutions
  7. Setup date night once per month; 12 new restaurants
  8. Plan & take my sabbatical
  9. Help more with Gavin, taking some pressure off of Barb
  10. Break 1:45 at the Seattle 1/2 Marathon and 50 minutes at Bloomsday
  11. No more "F" word
Wish us luck!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Christmas 2010 Slideshow

Our Christmas 2010 pictures.
Click the link and it will take you to a slideshow of our holiday season.
Happy New Year to all!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

New York Day #6

We made it on TV today! It was about 4 seconds, but we were on. Gavin wasn't made for TV, he was not really enjoying it (our third attempt).

During break Natalie Morales came over to us (we had an Elmo toy to donate to the Today Show Toy Drive); she thought Gavin was so cute even though he was fussy. I asked her if I could take a picture and she said sure, then she actually picked him up and put him in her arms (I just thought she would stand next to him). Oh man he was angry - as the photo shows. She has 2 boys of her own and the crabby baby didn't even phase her, she was so sweet and kind and said she loved 'big babies' (I'm guessing her boys were big too). She completely understood his age and that he wanted mommy. By the way she is stunningly beautiful in person!!

Rockefeller Plaza. The Ice Skating Rink, where Cousin Ryan proposed to Mandi just a few days earlier.

A great Christmas decoration on the downtown street. Notice the temperature...we were COLD!

These random bird looking things were walking the streets and juggling. They were promoting Cirque du Soleil in New York. Funny little buggers.

Just before we left Gavin & I had time to squeeze in lunch. Yes The Original Soupman is the restaurant that was the Seinfeld Soup Nazi episode was based on. There soup was really, really good.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

New York Day #5

We thought Day #4 was jam packed. This was our last full day in NYC so we had to make the most of it. Unfortunately for us Jason had to leave today. The good news is it was because he was hand selected to be part of a Leadership Development program at work, the recognition dinner was that night in Kansas.

As a family we started our day out at the Today Show. Gavin had no interest in the cameras and just wanted to walk around the roped off area. We kissed Daddy goodbye and started our day.
After a breakfast and a morning nap we bundled up and headed to the laundromat to drop off diapers. This time rather than sitting in the laundromat for 2 hours, we paid $10 to have them wash them for us. Best money we spent on the entire trip!

Gavin and Barb walked back on a street called Restaurant Row (or 46th Street); tons and tons of restaurants - wish we would have known about all of these earlier in our trip. A cute young woman was standing outside trying to generate business. She was very nice, the menu was Italian, and it was lunchtime so we stopped. It was a fantastic lunch and we had the restaurant all to ourselves. The hostess & waiter were so nice, they didn't have high chairs so we got to try out our Tie Chair (another great inventions for moms that I should have thought of) for the first time. It was awesome. The name of the restaurant is Don't Tell Mama and we had a great lunch; Gavin was on his best behavior. We even got to meet and chat with the chef.
We made it! SANTA! The real deal. Miracle on 34th Street. And we couldn't have timed it any better. A store where the Santa line is usually 100 people long, we got there at a moment that NO ONE, I one was in line. Gavin walked right up to Santa like he'd known him for years. Once he got on his lap he wanted Mommy, but we did get a cute picture.

After the visit to the North Pole & Santa's lap, we headed to a puppet show. Ms. Claus was telling all the children the rules for the puppet show and as soon as the words 'please stay seated' came out of her mouth...guess who stood up. Just a little embarrassing. Puppets weren't Gavin's thing so we left about 2 minutes into the show.

Leaving the puppet show early was worth it, because our next stop was the Empire State Building.

It is one of the more expensive tourist attractions in NY, but we figured we had to do it. Gavin was free so at least that helped, and having the stroller got us to the front of the line...thank you Gavin. We went all the way to the very, very top. One of the workers was very kind and offered to take a picture with both of us in it. The view was spectacular, very cold up there though.

It's okay he's sitting in front of glass, I didn't just put him on the ledge for a great photo :-)

Afternoon nap included a little Elmo DVD and cuddle time on the big bed.

Whew, what a day. Night, Night came early - we were pooped.

New York Day #4

Today was tourist day. We signed up for an all-day bus tour. Not sure how that was going to work with a toddler, but we figured what the heck. As usual, Gavin was a champ! We won't share the full nightmare of a story about the original tour bus breaking down, them canceling the tour and rescheduling for the day we were leaving. Obviously it all worked out.

Central Park - such a wonderful place. Huge & Beautiful. Strawberry Fields was dedicated to the memory of John Lennon. While we were visiting NY Jason had a 20 mile training run to try to fit in. He utilized the park and although it was cold said it was a great place to run.

Amazing, beautiful, speechless. Seeing her was a moment I (Barb) will never forget. The first time I saw the Grand Canyon I stood in awe; I had the same reaction when I saw her. So much history and meaning for one statue. A must see for every American!!
Ground Zero being rebuilt. A lot we could say about this, but really it was just amazing to see the 100's of workers on site to get this project done. The memorial is going to be very special.

My husband at the New York Stock Exchange (dork!)

The famous Charging Bull on Wall Street. The bull sculpture was installed in 1987 following the stock market crash as a symbol of the strength and power of American people.

Our evening was complete with dinner at Bobby Flay's Mesa Grill. The food was so good, unfortunately Gavin had his first official restaurant meltdown. We tried everything; instead we boxed up our dinner and headed back to the hotel. Once we got him to bed he was fine. It was a long day with a lot of 'doing' and not much napping. We finished our night with a peaceful sleeping baby and a delicious piece of cheesecake from Juniors; they claim it is the most fabulous and we would have to agree.

Friday, January 7, 2011

New York Day #3

Day #3 was pretty uneventful. Gavin wasn't really crabby, but wasn't really himself cheerful self either. We walked around and checked out the sites some more. We attempted to go to the Today Show taping (outside in the Plaza) but Gavin wanted nothing to do with it. He was crying and crying, I think the cold weather, coat, and gloves were getting to him.
It was Sunday, which means football! Homemade Seahawk pants from Grandma Beth. They are fleece so perfect for walking around a blistery NYC.

Ever seen Home Alone 2: Lost in New York? Great movie. We had to stop by The Plaza Hotel. It was so beautiful inside, although they had much of it roped off for guests only. We still got to go in and admire the lovely lobby.
Radio City Music Hall, home of the famous Rockettes. We didn't go this year, but we will when Gavin is a little bit older.

Time Square. Can you see the ball WAY at the very tippy top of that tall skinny building? Straight up from Jason's head. It was pretty cool to be there and see it. Not so sure how fun it would be on New Year's Eve, definitely not fun with a baby :-)

Days #4, #5, and #6 to follow soon.

Savory Hand Pies

More leftovers. I swear it's not the only thing I cook, but this recipe was on the same magazine page as the delicious Turkey Tostadas. The picture of the hand pies just kept calling my name, they're so cute. Boy oh boy were they good. By January 6th we are, of course, out of leftovers. But these sounded so good I went ahead and made them anyway. They reminded Patti and I of a a chicken/turkey pot pie, but better. We each ate 2 with some spaghetti squash and were stuffed.

I think these would be a great New Year's Eve dish to take to a party or have at your house if you host each year. We will for sure be making them again.

This weekend = I'm going to conquer the homemade Fig Bar! I hope to get it just perfect so I can deliver to Jason & David as a reward for the marathon they are running in next weekend.

Savory Hand Pies
(Southern Living Magazine)


1 cup finely chopped roasted turkey (we cooked a 1 & 1/2 chicken breast)

3/4 cup mashed potatoes

1/2 (8-oz.) package cream cheese, softened (we used WW low fat)

1/2 cup cut green beans, cooked (any left over veggie in your fridge would work great)

1 carrot, grated

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Salt and pepper

1 1/2 (14.1-oz.) packages refrigerated piecrusts

1 large egg, beaten

Poppy seeds (optional) - I think it's a must, really gives the pie some texture


1. Stir together first 6 ingredients. Season with desired amount of salt and pepper.

2. Preheat oven to 400°. Unroll each piecrust. Lightly roll each into a 12-inch circle. Cut each piecrust into 6 circles using a 4-inch round cutter. Place about 3 Tbsp. turkey mixture just below center of each dough circle. Fold dough over filling, pressing and folding edges to seal.

3. Arrange pies on a lightly greased baking sheet. Brush with egg, and, if desired, sprinkle with poppy seeds.

4. Bake at 400° for 18 to 20 minutes or until golden brown. Serve with warm gravy, leftover cranberry, or add something else from your fridge you need to get rid of (avocado, sour cream, yogurt, etc.)

Note: Unbaked pies can be frozen up to 1 month. Bake frozen pies 30 to 32 minutes or until golden brown. (love this idea so the leftovers don't go to waste & I have instant dinner in the freezer)

Thursday, January 6, 2011


Our family is one of those families that LOVES traditions. Especially around the holidays. We have a tradition of gingerbread houses each year for Christmas. This year Patti, Jason, and Barb each made one. We bought our houses from the food co-op that we participate in, it was homemade gingerbread and actually tasted delicious. The Santa sleigh was Jason's and it was purchased as a kit. Our neighborhood has a competition each year, and we might just have to get organized and participate with Gavin next year.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

New York Day #2

With all of our luggage packed neatly away in our hotel room we were finally able to hit the streets and see some of the city.
Obstacle #1, convincing Gavin that a coat, gloves and hat were necessary in 24 degree weather. This AZ baby did not want to wear any of them. A few times we let him go without the gloves, when his hands turned purple we made him put them on again.
Look familiar? We thought it was just cook street art, but it was originally designed as a Christmas Card for the Museum of Modern Art in 1964. We've seen it on TV and movies so we had to take our picture with the LOVE sculpture.

Our home away from home. We are Apple lovers through and through. Visiting the very cool Apple Store on 5th Ave. was awesome. As you can see from the first picture the store is actually underground, it's just a glass structure above ground. It was JAM packed, the stroller was a very bad idea, but we made it work.

We spent the afternoon wandering around looking at famous NY buildings, and landmarks. In the afternoon we actually met up with family. No, we don't have any that live in NYC, but ironically we happened to have some visiting at the same time. Congratulations to Ryan & Mandi who got engaged Friday night. We were so happy we were able to be there to celebrate your wonderful news. They are getting married next summer in Paris.
Gavin loves hotel beds - what a nut. He rolled around each day enjoying the blankets and pillows. He had his own portable crib that he slept in each night (well most nights, he snuck in with us a night or two), but he loved playing on this bed.