Zachary: 2 Months

Well month two has been a whirlwind of new experiences and meeting new people.

We started with a visit from Zach’s Aunt and Uncle, my brother and sister-in-law. During their stay with we explored Rainbow Falls State Park and Zachary when on his first hike!

Then it was Zachary’s first holiday: 4th of July. For more on what we did see Fourth of July 2017.

The next weekend, Zach experienced his first road trip to Nainai and Papa’s house. Zach met a lot of new people at a family BBQ and spent time with his other Aunt and Uncle, Luke’s brother and wife, and his three cousins. He did pretty well through his first professional photo shoot then enjoyed spending his first evening with his grandparents and cousins while Mom and Dad went to Luke’s High School Reunion. It was a busy weekend.

The weekend after this, Luke’s brother and family came to stay with us. Zachary went on his first train ride and to a Civil War re-enactment put on by the veterans museum.  That Sunday he met our birth coach and the little girl and her family who went through the class with us.

Last weekend, Zach met his great-grandparents. He hung out in the stroller as we walked around the Centralia Antique Fest and loved all of the attention from strangers. Later that week he went to Luke’s work’s annual family BBQ and again got plenty of attention.

During this very busy month Zach has learned to take a nightly bottle from Dad or a Grandparent.

Zach has grown by leaps and bounds this past month. He is talking even more and now smiles and sometimes laughs. Zachary has better ability to control his hands: gripping and pulling toys, shirts, and of course mom’s hair. He still very much enjoys music and attention from anybody and everybody he can.

More on some of these July events to come!






Happy Easter 2017!

Happy Easter everyone!

It’s hard to believe that a year ago we were off on our spring break New York City vacation. For more on our whirlwind three day NYC trip last year, start with the blog post: NYC Day 1 financial district. We didn’t know it then, but that was our last vacation before Baby Greene, and it was a memorable one.

flowers from last weekend’s shower

This Easter weekend has been much slower and easier. We had the BBQ Orgeon Shower last weekend and next weekend will have my brother and sister-in-law at our place to help us with a few projects.

So we have been enjoying the sunshine, and working on house projects. The project line up for this weekend includes cutting down the brittle mossy walnut trees close to the back end of the house. When we moved in half of the branches were down from winter wind storms; we knew it was only a matter of time before the rest of trees came with. Another project is getting shelving painted and installed in the nursery. I am, as you can imagine, anxious to organize the baby room with all of the wonderful items we have received from showers and our registry.

But we are also taking time for fun. Like every year, I made hot crossed buns with cream cheese icing for the holiday weekend breakfasts. For Easter we are doing a simple brunch of hot cross buns and berry salad with bacon and eggs. The original plan was a bacon, spinach, and tomato quiche but the oven element died at the end of my hot crossed bun baking session on Thursday, so we’ll be without an oven for a few days.

We decided also to go on a date on Saturday to check out the black light mini-golf place in town. More on this to come.

We know that we have many years of Easter egg hunts and traditional Easter events with family coming very soon so we are perfectly comfortable keeping this year simple.

How are you spending your holiday weekend?




BaByQ Oregon Shower

This past weekend my in-laws hosted a BBQ/baby shower for us and Baby Greene.

Luke’s Dad, John, is locally famous for his BBQ and homemade sauce and loves to host parties to share his BBQ with others. So we decided to do a joint shower/ BBQ party at my in-laws house in Oregon for all family and friends who live in the Northwest.

The house was decorated in streamers and tablecloths in shades of blue to celebrate baby Greene and balloons and flowers brightly contrasted in our nursery colors of yellow, green, and orange. Early that morning, John was hard at work cooking the meat outside and Diana finishing up the sides and appetizers in the kitchen. As I was getting ready, Luke’s Aunts and Uncles arrived with the cake, balloons, and appetizers ready to help with set up and last minute food items.

As guests arrived men left beer and diapers on the front porch and women brought in their gifts for the shower. After everyone had a chance to talk and catch up, the meat was cut up and we all enjoyed a great BBQ meal together. John had cooked up: brisket, lamb, chicken, sausage, and pork, plenty of options to choose from. We ate that alongside homemade potato salad, baked beans, several homemade salsas and hot sauces, chips, rolls, and of course his famous BBQ sauce.

There was beer, and wine, and for the mom-to-be both sparkling apple cider and lime/pineapple sherbet punch. Whenever a plate of meat seemed to get low another tray full  was brought in. The men carved the meat in the garage, out of the rain, which was a delight for Kira. She was able to enjoy the company as well as the scraps from the floor. She was later rewarded for not eating what was on the table when unattended by being given quite a few bones to take home with her.

Once everyone had their fill of food the cake was cut. A very well decorated white cake with blue baby shoes on top; we got to take the center piece with the shoes home with us for later.

With cake distributed, I was given the seat of honor in the living room, the rocking chair. This rocking chair was used when Luke was little, John painted it for me and Diana bought seat cushions to match our nursery. It is very comfortable and I’m looking forward to using it in our nursery soon. Then Luke opened his father-to-be present from his parents: a large diaper/baby backpack filled with wipes, snacks, and toys.

After this, the men were encouraged to head downstairs or outside and the women sat in the living room as I opened gifts. With the help of family I opened present after present of baby clothes, blankets, diapers, wipes, toys, books, and other wonderful gifts from family and friends.

Once gifts were opened, everyone began socializing and some began to head home. After several guests had left, I was able to get some quality time with Luke’s family. We cleaned up from the shower, opened cards, and wrote down who gave us which items. That evening we brought in plastic boxes from the car to fill with presents. We were so blessed to have a full box of diapers and wipes, and a whole additional box of all other presents. Later into the evening we sat around talking and snacking on leftovers, enjoying the end of a wonderful BBQ/Baby shower.


Springwater Music Fair 2016

This two weekends ago Luke and I went on a date. The first date in months that did not include errands or trips to Lowes. It was just because we wanted to, which was nice.

There are things we will miss about upstate New York, the fall leaves, the dairy farms along the hill sides, the maple syrup, the homes decorated for each season, and summer and fall festivals.


One festival we will miss dearly is the Springwater Music Fair . Last year we found posters for this fair when we toured a local maple syrup producer in March.

For more read:


We thought we would check out this very local festival less than a half hour from our house. We found ourselves at Punky Hollow, a tree farm and property outside of Springwater. For $10 each we enjoyed the beautifully landscaped property in the fall air, looked at local craft vendors, listened to music, and enjoyed local food and treats.

For more on last year’s festival read:

It was so much fun we decided to come again this year.  This year the name has changed to Music Fair. The genre of musicians has broadened and so have the festivals hours, open both Saturday and Sunday.


When we arrived on Saturday afternoon we saw new signs  designating the festivals event spaces. After getting our wristbands we walked around to see what this year’s festival included.


The music tent was moved to the center of the field, with more seating available. We personally enjoy fiddling music: Irish, folk, American Blue grass, Cajun etc. So although we appreciate the festival has more variety we were disappointed to miss some fiddle-featured bands earlier in the day.


Instead we waited through some minor bands not in our genre preference. But we did discover one local featured band we  bought a CD from: The Brother’s Blue. They had great American folk mandolin, banjo, and fiddle music.


In the past, the festival had white fiddles pointing to spots along property trails where fiddlers could play and join other amateurs. We did not see any white fiddles this year, which again was disappointing.


On the positive side, there were more local crafts and food vendors. We picked up honey from a Wayland producer. Also this year two local food trucks added to the food choices. During a lull in our preferred music we got lunch at Milliners Southern Smoke. and for the price we got a great deal on delicious BBQ.



Near the end of the day, like last year, we enjoyed Spotted Duck Creamery Custard a local organic duck egg custard producer. This year I got Salted Carmel and Luke got Strawberry Rhubarb. I will be honest, I looked forward to this dessert all summer. We are happy to see they returned to the festival and that their business is expanding.


Overall we enjoyed the Music Festival just a much as the year before. It is sad this will be our last time attending, but we are glad we were able to enjoy it for two fall seasons.

How do you celebrate the fall season?

Corning Glass Museum 2016

On Thursday after getting work done and resting, we were ready for a full day of fun.

We took the parents down to our old stopping ground: Corning. We showed them where we used to live then pulled into the Corning Glass Museum parking lot.


Over the past four years we have taken all of our family who has visited us to the museum. We have found there is something for everyone to enjoy. After getting our tickets we watched the live glass blowing demonstration in the Hot Glass studio.


We then had open time to take the parents through some of the exhibits. We started in the modern glass studio then moved on to the history of glass. Well, we only got about a third of the way through the history of glass before it was lunch time.


We found a nice shaded picnic bench outside and Luke and John went across the street to get us a large lunch. Our favorite BBQ place is not in Rochester, it’s in Corning. I am telling you the place to go for BBQ is Slammin’ Jamming Bar B Q . The meat is moist and well seasoned and their BBQ sauce is tangy, smokey and spicy. Since we left Corning their hole-in-the wall has become well established, and now they also have a restaurant downtown!


After a finger licking lunch we headed into the make your own glass studio. Here John and Diana had tickets to make their own ornaments, another tradition we have done with all family members who have visited. We advised them to choose bright colors that would show up on the tree, and they did. They both had a great time.


We then headed back to the museum to finish the history of glass. Since Luke and I have seen this exhibit several times, we instead enjoyed their rotating exhibit. This season they had glass work done by Blaschka family of sea life and creatures, a collection mostly form Cornell. The work was amazing, it looked like plastic, or fabric, but was all glass. This glass work was done as a means to study sea-creatures that normally when taken out of the water would disintegrate and die quickly. It was like being in a still life aquarium.


Last on our tour was the new wing of the museum: the modern exhibit (2000 and forward). This wing is new to Luke and I. Flooded with light, it highlights very modern and large scale glass pieces most of which have a social statement attached to them.


To round out our day at the museum we went to another hot glass show, in one of the new larger studios attached to the modern exhibit wing. In this show they made a vase but included a sea life theme in honor of the Blaschka exhibit and their work.


It was a full day, but well worth the trip, as always.

Springwater Fiddler’s Fair

Well it’s been busy past month adjusting to a new job, driving to Rochester everyday, and adding a puppy to our lives. We were ready for a weekend outing.


A few weekends ago went to the Springwater 7th annual Fiddler’s Fair. We heard about this fair from two sources: first from the maple farm we toured for maple week this past spring (see maple season) and from the Springwater trails group we hiked with this summer.


The fair takes places at a tree farm on the boarder between Cohocton and Wayland (so not far from our house) and hosts fiddlers from all over upstate New York for one day of performances, workshops, and jam sessions.


We arrived in the mid afternoon and explored the grounds. A barn was set up at the front of the property with crafts artists inside. We payed a five dollar donation and were given wrist bands and brochures before exploring. Around the corner form the barn was the main stage where fiddling performances occurred every half hour from 10-6pm all day.


Deciding to walk around the craft stalls outside, we walked around the found the inner loop trail to explore the jam sessions in the woods. At each location where a jam session could occur along  the festival had set up haybails and a white fiddle sign.



We came late enough in the day that there were not any jam sessions in the forest, but we enjoyed the walk. The spring water hiking club blazes the trails for all of the events on the farm, and for most of the day supported guided hikes along the trails.


We came back to the main field and listened in on a few of the larger workshops and jam tents further out in the field. Some of the workshops included Penny whistle, woodworking, Cajun fiddling, and basic fiddling skills.


We also noticed they had nature crafts for children and a sing along stage where children could dress up, pick up instruments, and dance along to a guitarist singing children’s songs.


After walking around we decided to get dessert first settling on organic custard made locally from duck eggs. I got black raspberry and Luke had the mint chip, it was very good creamy and sweet.


We sat with our frozen treats and listened at the main stage to several performers including a group of children performers from a string school in Buffalo who were very good.


We then decided to get dinner and had many options to choose from everything from taco salad, to BBQ, to hamburgers and hot dogs, to vegetarian stew and lamb burritos. Sadly the lamb burritos were sold out by the time we decided to eat ,so Luke and I shared some BBQ and mac and cheese. All of the food stands were local bakeries, restaurants, and catering companies.


We enjoyed seeing that this fair was put on by volunteers and locals and the cost to get into the festival goes to run the festival next year and to support the community. It was also great to hear a variety of fiddling styles including Americana, Irish, and even Macedonian.


It was the perfect event to welcome the fall season.

Happy 4th of July!




To celebrate this year I made new red white and blue cookies using the summer cookies jello recipe with a few tweeks (more on this to come).


We also are doing a BBQ for two of hamburgers with homemade buns and baked potato wedges. Luke and I are enjoying the sun shine, finally.

Whether you are enjoying time with your family or friends, having a BBQ, going to a concert, or watching fireworks I hope you all enjoy celebrating our nation’s independence.