Sunday, July 31, 2011

Five Years Ago

I had a blog back when I was in college. It was pretty boring, and mostly just my lame ramblings, but the last post I wrote was about the day I became engaged. Five years ago today. I'm so glad I said yes. Or, to quote myself, "of course, you goose."

Here are a few of our engagement pictures, taken by none other than my sister, the fabulous Katie Botkin.

(We sent this one out with our wedding invitations.)

This last one was actually from the day after we got engaged, I think. Ah, we were such kids.

I am so grateful that I met this man. It didn't take me long to realize he was a wonderful guy, and only a few months later I started wondering what it would be like to spend the rest of my life with him. Here's the time line:

October 31st, 2004: We met. We became friends immediately.
February 2005: We both started realizing that feelings were perhaps, growing.
The end of June 2005: The first time he ever said "I love you."
December 13, 2005: We (finally) started courting/dating.
July 31, 2006: He asked me to be his wife. I said yes.
November 18, 2006: We got married.

So far, it's been the most crazy, fun, amazing adventure of my life. I love you, Babe.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Family Camp

Last weekend was our church's first ever Family Camp. Bryan and I were excited to pull out our camping gear and go camping for the first time in almost two years... and the first time as parents. We weren't sure how Chloë would do, but she loved it.

We drove the hour and a half up to Camp Lutherhaven; a beautiful camp on the shore of Lake Coeur d'Alene. We got there as early as we could on Friday evening, and set up camp in the great little private camping area.

Saturday was a very open day. We slept in after a cold night (and after Chloë woke up with the sun at 4:00, and took an hour to fall back asleep). While she was awake, she just looked around at the inside of the tent, grinned from ear to ear as if to say "you guys, this camping thing is the best thing ever." We made a great breakfast of coffee, fresh raspberry pancakes, hashbrowns, and omlets. Camping breakfasts are our favorite. Then we relaxed, explored, slathered ourselves with suncreen, and spent the afternoon on the beach with friends and family.

Bryan being ejected off the blob. There isn't much control over which way it flops your body, thus Bryan's imminent belly flop.

Chloë totally loved the cold water and sand. She got sand absolutely everywhere.

Hanging out that evening at the group camp.

Handsome, long eyelashed little Owen.

Playing in the dirt on Sunday morning. We packed and loaded the car, and then had church in the little chapel.

After church picnic. Some people drove up to the lake just for church and picnicking, and it was a lot of fun.

We had a great weekend, and came home just a little bit tired. I think if we invested in better sleeping bags, we would sleep better. Looking forward to next year!

Sunday, July 24, 2011


Seriously, this kid does this constantly when we're in our daily routine. Sometimes she talks to me, but a lot of times she just talk to herself. She sure makes life a lot of fun.

She's really telling a grand story here. I just wish I could understand her.

I was browsing old posts, and found this video of "Tummy Time and Talking" and the last video on this post. She's changed so much in nine and ten months!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Here for a short Summer

My brother Samuel took a little hiatus from his life in Denver, and spent most of it here in Moscow, right next door at my parent's second house. It was so wonderful having him around for a few weeks. For as much as we picked on each other when we were kids, and for as much as I tried to boss him around a few years later, we've always been great friends.

My mother will tell you he has "a sensitive side," and tell little stories of his sweet nature and thoughtfulness even as a toddler. He's all tough and muscles now, but he is very sweet and affectionate to Chloë, and missed her like crazy the 6 months he was away. The first day Samuel was back, Chloë wasn't too sure about the fuzzy faced man that was around all the time, but she quickly warmed up to him, and would get excited when she heard the side door open, because she knew that meant Uncle Sam ("Saaaah!") was coming over.

A few days after her birthday, showing off how old she is.

A solid chase-and-tickle session.

Uncle Samuel sharing his cereal!!!!

All of my brothers! Left to right: Daniel, 22, Samuel, 24, and Isaiah, 17.

Alas, Samuel has returned to his life in Denver. He was just promoted at his job at Jump Energy, and will continue to play for the Glendale Raptors Rugby team. Chloë sure is going to miss her favorite Uncle Samuel. How wonderful it is to have such great technology as Skype.

P.S. For those of you who watch TV, Samuel had a totally random opportunity last Spring. He was all decked out in his nicest suit in downtown Denver, and happened to walk on to the set of Wendy's commercial. They gave him lots of free ice cream, filmed him, and he wound up signing contracts and getting a small sum of money for his 2 or 3 second blurb in the Wild Berry Frosty commercial that is currently being aired nationally. So watch for the handsome dude looking sharp in his business suit, and you'll see him!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Four Generations

When my mom's parents were here almost a month ago, we managed to sit down a get a few pictures of the four generations. I don't know how we've managed to miss so many other great photos ops of the other great grandparents over the last year, but somehow, we have. But here we are: my daughter, myself, my mother, and my mother's mother.

Madelaine Moses, Diana Botkin, Bess Blakey, and Chloë Blakey.

While people were around, the men folk tossed around the ol' Rugby ball.

Chloë sat in the grass.

Chloë enjoyed Mimi's amazing pizza for the first time.

And there was lots of resting and relaxing.

(P.S. It's my mom's birthday today! Happy birthday, Mom!)

Friday, July 15, 2011

13 Months

Chloë is 13 months old now. I try not to call her "baby" any more, even though it's so hard to call her anything else. She isn't officially a toddler yet, and "girl" just seems so grown up! But she is growing up, and getting big.

She's eating like a grown up now. We make sure she has lots of fiber and fruits and really try with the veggies. Today I got her to eat peas by putting a little butter, sour cream and garlic on them. She has a big smoothie every morning for breakfast, and then usually has a quesadilla or PB&J for lunch, and whatever we're having for dinner. She snacks on cereal or crackers or deli meat and cheese, and drinks out of sippy cups. She'll have milk in a bottle, but not in her sippy cup, which is really weird. She still has four teeth on top and two on the bottom (with more coming soon, we think), and does really well taking bites out of just about anything. She's a lot of fun to eat with.

Chloë likes to bonk her forehead into our headboard when we bring her to bed in the morning. She'll just stand there and bonk her head over and over. And she's absolutely loves it when I tickle her, and we often have a good tickle session in the morning. She's great at high fives, and still likes to pick at fingernails when she's mellowing out.

Besides Mama, Dada, Papa, Mimi, Dog, Amen, Truck, Cracker and Nose, she also knows Hi, Up, Down ("Dah"), Hot, Cold ("Coe"), Cool ("Coooo"), Uncle Sam ("Saaaah"), Out Side ("Ah Sah") and Baby. Today we realized that when she claps and says "Pah kah, pah kah," over and over, she's saying Patty Cake.

We taught her four signs, and that's probably all we'll do since her vocabulary is taking off. Please, More, Thank You, and All Done have been very useful.

She has some good tricks, like showing off how old he is. She is a super speed crawler, especially if she thinks she's being chased. She walks along furniture and walls and the kitchen cupboards with ease. She can get up and down a flight of stairs no problem, although we make sure the keep the doors and baby gates latched.

Sometimes she's really silly, and we just discovered that she like sunglasses.

Chloë is a really sweet and affectionate little girl. She loves to pat a shoulder if we're holding her, and she loves giving us kisses. Often times if one of us asks for a kiss, she'll just go back and forth 20 or 30 times, kiss for Mama, kiss for Daddy, until she's all full of kisses.

She's pretty great.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

At Long Last

I waited 2 1/2 years. They did the surgery, the teeth slooowly moved, and finally, they were done. I got my braces off last Thursday, and have been grinning like fool ever since. My teeth actually still hurt (I guess they have to "settle" or something), and I'm wearing my super rad clear retainer at all times (except to eat), and now I talk kind of funny.

So here's the short story of my teeth.

My adult smile pre-braces. You can sort of tell that the canine teeth were tiny. July 2005.

January 2009. The day I got my braces. Ugh.

A few days later. This was my normal smile for a few months until I had the surgery that removed the baby teeth and put brackets on to the adult canine teeth that were buried under gums and bone.

I tried not to smile like this. I really didn't like the huge gaps in my mouth. July 2009.

So I learned to smile like this. This way you couldn't really even see my teeth. December 2009.

The day they came off. At long last.

Here's a close-up before and after. You can sort of see the difference.

The day I got my braces. January 2009. You can't even see the baby canines. Because they were so small, they hid behind the other teeth.

The day my braces came off!!! July 2011. Not quite perfect, but look at those adult canines!
(If you missed the awesome pictures of the inside of my mouth while the teeth moved, check this out.)

So, so happy. Yay.

Saturday, July 9, 2011


We have one 4th of July tradition: to make the 7 or 8 minute drive from my parent's house to the Copeland Bridge on the Kootenai River. The water is usually high, and very cold, and this year it was especially so. No one jumped off the bridge this year. Which is fine. It's a 40 to 50 foot drop, depending on how high the water is. And I'm not quite the daredevil I was 8 or 10 years ago. Huh.

Bryan, Isaiah, Lewis and Samuel.

After we play on the dock, we walk across the bridge and play in the knee deep mud. Chloë fell asleep on the drive there, naturally. It was her nap time, after all. So Mimi stayed close to the car, and the rest of crossed over to the other side.

Walking across the bridge, pausing to play Pooh Sticks.


Katie, of course.

Isaiah again.

Lining up for a race in the knee-deep mud. Bryan, Lewis, Samuel, Katie, and Isaiah.

So Lewis won. There are no real rules in this race.

Samuel and Bryan for a short race.

Walking back.

Man, it sure it beautiful up there.