Sunday, August 21, 2011

Tiny Cakes & Spotted Plates

As promised, I'm posting an unprecedented two days in a row... there's a reason though - I haven't just turned over a new leaf. We had our tea party for Ava today, and although we talked to the kids & our friends about why we were having a tea party, we made it as upbeat of an occasion as we could. There was a glitch or two along the way (as there are in all things around here), the kids spent every unoccupied moment asking if they could lick the batter, or the frosting, or the pans... basically anything that wasn't moving or washed already. Plus, after Sara and Lily spent the morning putting balloons, streamers, a pinata, and the whole table setting outside, the skies opened up and we had torrential rains until the party was long over... and our friend Renata had to brave some flood waters to make it here, but we dragged everything out of the rain just in time, and being inside with the dogs was just as nice.
In the end, we had an afternoon I hope Sheye would have wanted, and Ava would have liked to come to. There were spotty plates, tiny cakes, bottles and bowls with drinks and sweets, paper cranes, flowers, our Kimono Twingy, and sparkly tiaras... and all of us crowded together around a table to remember the best of times and a princess we never really knew. All that said, today was a gift for us, and a gift for Sheye - for helping us remember the important things, for showing us what strength and love really are, and for sharing your journey.
Pics from today are at the link below...

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Pies, Tea & Photos Of The Clatter

Eventful summer, somewhat. We spent most of it away from the house – not on vacation necessarily, just outside, causing trouble. We did our share of escaping though – we went camping, to the Poconos, and to LA to see my sister and her family. All in all, there’s just too much to say. Which is my fault of course, because I put this blog on the back burner for a while.
It’s a shame, really because in a few short months Lily managed to set herself on fire and learned to swim (not at the same time), Sam got the lead part in Peter Pan, Sara turned 40 in spectacular style (thanks to some wonderful friends of ours), and I became a park ranger. All of these things (unfortunately for you) are part of much longer hilarious stories.Two things, though, are recent and worth sharing. For one, my parents came up this week to hang out, and so that my father could help me start construction on our outdoor pizza oven. A few months ago, while I was in the ‘daydreaming about a pizza oven’ stage, I envisioned a rather short process. After all, even though I have almost no masonry experience, it’s just a pile of bricks. Once I did a little research, it occurred to me that it’s a really big pile of bricks – and when I got some plans, it occurred to me that it’s a really big complicated pile of bricks. Unfortunately, since I’ve been talking about it to anyone that would listen, I sort of had to follow through with it… plus, the prospect of having a wood burning oven in the yard is just too mouth watering to back down. But we had a plan. On Wednesday we started, got some basic frame ideas together, dug some holes for foundation supports, and bought some lumber. After a day of mental (and a little physical) work, we had a couple of drinks and sat on the couch until about midnight revising our plans. By the time we went to bed, we had all but nullified the physical work done that afternoon.
The next morning it was back to the drawing board, and we spent a couple of hours drawing plans for the new foundation, followed by a trip to the lumberyard again. When all was said and done, and my parents were on the road home, we managed to accomplish a lot or nothing at all, depending on how you look at it. Even though we didn’t have pizza (actually, we did… from a pizza place down the road) I feel pretty good about what we did, and I have to admit I had a really good time.
The other thing that’s worth mentioning is our trip to California, which was great… filled with cousins chasing each other around, great weather, sand crabs, and tasty waves. For those of you that have spent any time hanging around Manhattan Beach, you know there aren’t really any negatives to being there. Well, I missed the dogs, but that’s about it. Instead of running you through the day-to-day, there’s one thing I should mention. On the last day we were there, my sister (who writes a few blogs) made ‘A Pie For Mikey’, which was a peanut butter pie to celebrate the life of a fellow food blogger’s husband who passed away unexpectedly from a heart attack. She made the pie with a little help from everyone there, as a gift to us, a gift for Jennie, and a gift for Mikey. I couldn’t help thinking about Ava that last Saturday in California. Ava was the daughter of Sheye Rosemeyer – she was born just after Lily in 2003, and died from a tragic accident in 2007, a few days before Lily’s 4th birthday. Sara and I started following Sheye’s blog right around the time that Ava died, and have watched Sheye and her utterly heartbroken family put their lives back together over the last four years. Since then, every August we have talked in passing about celebrating Ava’s birthday, as her mother had wished everyone to do, as a day to cherish your family. We never quite got it together though, and always saw pictures of ‘Ava’s Tea Parties’ from all around the world long after her birthday had passed us by. So tomorrow - thanks to the inspiration of my sister, who managed to do something for someone across the country in the middle of the hustle and bustle of her busy life – we’re having a tea party for Ava’s birthday. Sheye has come up in conversation in our house in the last few years more then she will ever know - in conversations about love, loss, and us. Unfortunately, the summer is quickly coming to an end, but we’re putting everything on hold tomorrow and having some friends over to spend a few hours celebrating a pink superprincess, telling stories about the summer, and trying to be glad, give thanks, and cherish. Pictures to follow…

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