Sunday, June 12, 2016

We Must Stand With Strength

My community has been attacked.  So violently. The mass shooting in Orlando, Florida where one man killed at least 50 individuals makes me sad.  At least 50 different lives were ended by one disturbed man.  All day I've thought about those 50 individuals who were enjoying a Saturday night in the sanctuary of a gay club.  They were living life!  And now they are gone.  Think of all that was lost when a life is ended too soon.

It was an act of terror.  It was an act of hate. It was an act that we must not tolerate in our society.

More love.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Ten Year Check-In

Ten years ago this month my husband and I stood in front of our closest family and friends and publicly expressed our love and devotion and took vows of commitment.  The goal of the event was to establish a principal value in our world: our love was equal to (not less than) the love of any other married couple.  As I sit here in my office typing this blog ten years ago seems like a different time entirely.  It was a different time.  People stumbled over the vocabulary: "Do you call him your partner or husband?"

In 2006, our wedding in Austin, Texas was not recognized by the law of the land.  Most guests in attendance on our most special occasion had never experienced a wedding between two men.  The newness of the event was nice, since we could make up the rules as we went along without worrying about expectations.  We kept the guest list well edited; we realized at the time that we didn't have many close gay friends - the majority of our friends were straight, which is a fact that is (for some strange reason) still true today.  We served drinks before the wedding ceremony to ensure (have kidding/half serious) that our honored guests (of mostly straight people) could handle two men kissing after the "I do's".  In the spirit of Gandhi's "be the change you wish to see in the world" we held a fun wedding, and at the time we hoped one day we could get legally married.

As is true in life, I'm learning, things appear to be happening slowly and then they appear to be happening all at once!  Seven years after our wedding, in the fall of 2013, that legal marriage happened in Santa Barbara, California.  Our union was recognized by the law of the land, finally.

In the early spring of 2016, our twins were born in Austin, Texas.

And here we are...

It's been a very special ten years, and we are just getting started.  After ten years, my husband is still the man of my dreams and he still owns my heart, completely.

I am grateful.

My life is so special because we are standing on the shoulders of the men and women who lived before us and lived in a time when being true to yourself and loving who you wanted wasn’t always an option and came at a great risk.  If my husband and I had been born in a previous generation, then our life would have been different.  We know this fact, and we've done our part to keep pushing things forward for the next generation.  Isn't that the point of life?  "Leave the world a better place than you found it."

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Lake House

Well, here you go...I've found my dream lake house.  Isn't this gorgeous?  I'm posting the photos here so at least I can visit PICTURES of a lake house...

More photos here.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Vacuum Lines by Diane Dekker Redlegs

I saw on my husband's Facebook feed this post getting shared, which is a perfect read for my current situation in life.  My husband and I had almost 10 years of marriage before our tiny humans arrived to live under our roof.  We're accustom to living in a house of order and elegance, but that reality has changed.  There is a boatload of baby gear which greeted the twins' arrival in this world.   Our house is morphing to support the rearing of children and it's an adjustment for me.  I am saying goodbye to my constant order and elegance, and I predict I will be a very, very old person when it returns...

...and that's a very good thing according to the advice from Diane:


Vacuum lines

(pay attention young mother's, you may want to read this 😉).

19 years ago, Scott, all 5 kids and I took a trip to Omaha. Kenny was 10, Todd was 8, Kevin 5, Ryan 2, and Lisa was 6 months old. We took a day and went over to visit Scott's Aunt and Uncle who lived in Omaha, in their beautiful new home. When we pulled up, the exterior said to me, "this is what dreams are made of". As his Aunt gave us a tour of their home, I just remember thinking how amazing it would be to have such a beautiful home, full of rooms and bathrooms and a huge kitchen that screamed to be full of family and fun, but what stuck out the most in my mind and sparked a completely different envy than just the size of the house, was the vacuum lines that remained in the carpet in the formal dining room. As we strolled into the dining room, I remember thinking to myself, "oh my gosh! Her vacuum lines are still in her carpet probably a week or more after she vacuumed!! What I wouldn't give to clean my house and have it stay magazine perfect for more than 5 minutes!!" I couldn't wait for the day that I would be able to do that and not have it messed up by sticky little finger prints on the perfectly waxed dining table, or Legos hiding under the table, or walking in to discover Ryan's latest art creation had so carefully been designed on the wall with crayons.

Here's what I didn't know at that time, (and somewhere my mind couldn't even go), that to have all of this picture perfect cleanliness, the kids would have to be gone. You see, I wanted those things because the everyday struggles of 5 loads of laundry, toys everywhere, mouths to feed, meals to prepare, beds to make were overwhelming to me, and the beauty of a pristine home was something only dreams were made of. Hell it took me 20 minutes in each room just to find the floor before I could vacuum it. I never grasped (no matter how bad I wanted vacuum lines to stay in my carpet) that my kids would one day grow up and leave. That thought doesn't exist in a young mothers mind, it's just the things that old ladies talked about, and the endless reminders they tried to give me that "it all goes by so fast".

Then one day I woke up, went to clean my house, carefully placed vacuum lines in my carpet, looked at my beautiful dinning table with a perfect wax coating and zero finger prints and realized it would stay that way for days.....and that's when I realized that vacuum lines are lonely. That Legos and dirty clothes and mouths to feed and backpacks to get ready are sometimes very overwhelming, but they're never, ever lonely and that what the old ladies had been telling me was true! That the Legos slowly disappeared without me ever noticing. They were replaced by video games, and then football gear and then by empty bedrooms waiting for a visit home from college or life. That the loads of laundry gradually got smaller, the dirty dishes were less and the endless treasures of Pokemon cards, or rock collections all disappeared. Everything sits magazine ready in my home now and I appreciate and love this time of my life, I only wish I had known the cost of vacuum lines, because then I surly wouldn't have wanted this day to come as fast as it did.

Happy Mother's Day to mothers everywhere. To the mothers with vacuum lines who miss their children everyday, and to the young mothers who struggle through the mountains of laundry and responsibility. Cherish your children, their messes and stresses and the hell they put you through as teenagers, and trust me, vacuum lines are overrated 😉 ❤



Don't Eat People

Here's a picture of John trying to eat his sister, Susanna.  We're hoping his cannibalism tendencies fade after a few months, since one of our family rules is that we don't eat people (unless we're on a plane that crashes in the mountains and it's the only way to survive).

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Bulldogs Down

We came home from the pediatrician with the two legged children on Tuesday and Matt Damon, our 9 month old four legged son, could not stand and would not move.   I was hysterical.   One emergency vet visit and rounds of X-rays later it was determined that he had a slipped disc in his back.  He was put on a five-pills-two-times-a-day routine in addition to bed rest for one week.  Four days into the routine and it appears to be working - he's acting well now and he doesn't understand why we're keeping him locked down most of the day.  He gets out of doggie jail on Tuesday.

On Saturday morning Dooley, our 6 year old four legged daughter, ripped a back claw out of her foot.  We don't know how it happened, but the incident might have occurred when she was defending our house from the exterminator who was outside treating our house for bugs.  I was sleeping and my husband was juggling twins and a big bloody crime scene created by Dooley.   How much blood could she possibly pump out of her paw?  Luckily for us, my husband's parents arrived to take care of the two legged babies while we went to another emergency vet appointment; the second emergency vet appointment of the week.  No worries though, Dooley is going to be fine.

It's been an exciting week with bulldogs, and I'm so thankful for our vets.  I know they are thankful for us and the wealth transfer we have initiated from our bank account to theirs.  It's all worth it.  To me.  I love our dogs!

The key takeaways for the week:

  1. my husband is disturbingly good at cleaning up blood; it's like it never happened,  
  2. the four legged bulldog children are going to be alright, 
  3. Trigger, our 13 year old four legged non-bulldog son,  has proven for the umpteenth time he's clearly superior to the bulldogs (not that it's a competition). 

Sol 36

Have you read The Martian?  More importantly, have you watched The Martian?  The film stars Matt Damon - my favorite Hollywood icon.  You must watch the movie for the lovely acting and shirtless moment delivered by Matt Damon.  (Swoon.)

The final moment in the film when Mark Watney (Damon) is explaining his key to successful survival if frequently played in the internal workings of my mind:

"At some point, everything's gonna go south on you... everything's going to go south and you're going to say, this is it. This is how I end. Now you can either accept that, or you can get to work. That's all it is. You just begin. You do the math. You solve one problem... and you solve the next one... and then the next. And If you solve enough problems, you get to come home. All right, questions?"

For some reason, I think the wisdom obtained from Mark Watney's survival on Mars is relevant to my survival of the first five weeks of fatherhood.

I am grateful for our son and our daughter and our time together so far.  I glow in much love and gratitude for my life in its current state.  At night when the babies are sleeping, my dogs are sleeping, and my husband is sleeping I pause to say thank you to the universe and my beautiful normal everyday life.  This is all I really ever wanted in life: A two story house, the best husband, babies and lots and lots of dogs.

I'm living my dream and it's kicking me in the ass. 

Having twins is not easy.  My current analysis at 5 weeks is that this is so much more difficult than I expected.  We have nieces and nephews, and when I was 18 years old I lived with my cousin for two months in Austin and she had a toddler and an infant.  I felt prepared.  I was not prepared.  

The joyous news is that the babies are thriving.  At the one month visit our pediatrician said he could not be more pleased with their progress.  Success.  This is what success feels like?  I'm enjoying the daily challenges of fatherhood.  I'm really enjoying watching my husband be a father - he's good at everything.  And like Mark Watney said, "at some point, everything's gonna go south on can either accept that, or you can get to work.  That's all it is. You just solve one problem...and you solve the next one..."

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Name Game

Once we found out we were pregnant with twins my husband and I pretty quickly settled on naming our children with names plucked from our family trees.  We also agreed we didn't want to discuss the names publicly until the children were born - people are so opinionated with names if you reveal them before the babies are born.  I can remember offending my brother with feedback on names before my nieces were born.

For our children, we announced the names on the date of their birth!

Our daughter, Susanna Aralou, is named in honor of my mother and my husband's mother/my husband's great-grandmother.  Susanna is a minor variation of my mother's first name.  For the middle name, my husband's grandmother Margie had given her second born daughter the same middle name as her mother, Lou, and after the tragic and untimely death of Margie, my husband's mother was raised by her namesake grandmother (my husband's great-grandmother) Ara Lou (two words).   We liked the two names as one; hence Aralou.

Our son, John Randolph, is named in honor of my husband's family and my father.  With very few exceptions the first born son in my husband's family tree all have the name John somewhere in the mix.  It is my husband's middle name.  It is my husband's grandfather's name.  It's in his family tree all the way back to the 1600's.  We like tradition.  The name Randolph is the formal version of my father's first name.  I like formal names.

Susanna Aralou and John Randolph: two sets of perfect names for two perfectly adorable tiny people!

Monday, March 21, 2016

I Love Our Village

My husband and I are extremely fortunate to live at this time on this spot on earth.  I don't forget that truth, ever.  We're two legally married gay men with two children.  We are celebrated by our village of friends and family - not shunned.  The arrival of the twins has brought such generosity and kindness and support to our front door.  It is support that we greatly appreciate and very much require to fully engage in our newest and most important roles as fathers.

First, it all started before the twins were born where friends hosted showers which allowed more friends and family to prep us with baby gear - great loads of baby gear!  Next, with the twins early arrival two weeks ago we've had more acts of love sent our way.  We've received cards, clothes for the babies, food, flowers and handmade quilts.

Every such gift of kindness and support is uplifting in sleepy moments of getting two preemies to eat, sleep, grow, and getting two mid-thirty year olds educated on life with babies.  I've learned so much in two weeks.

When the twins were in the hospital we bonded with the NICU nurses; one NICU nurse named Kara gave me some very profound advice at a late night feeding.   I think I was almost in tears when Susanna spit up the bottle I just worked really hard to give to her.  Kara told me I must have grace for myself and we must have grace for each other.   I've thought about that advice when I get into unpleasant moments of taking care of two babies.  I laugh at myself, learn from the situation, and move on!

With my new wisdom I will engage in a different way the next time someone else in my village gives birth - I will be dropping off hot food, stocking freezers with homemade meals, or sending cards and flowers.  I will pay it forward by reminding new parents, like Kara reminded me, to have a little grace for yourself and your spouse.

Saturday, March 19, 2016


You get to watch a lot of movies when you have tiny humans that eat every three hours in your household.  We're in a feeding, about to feed, or just fed nonstop cycle.  Since the film Brooklyn received 97% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes I rented it a few nights ago, and it was the most delightful film.  I don't want to over sell it, since it's really just a simple love story; however, you must see this film.

The actors performance is captivating; there are many sweet subtle moments in this film.  I hope to see many more films with actors Saoirse Ronan and Emory Cohen in leading performances.  Great talent always uplifts my spirits.

Here's a quote from the film, which made me weepy with a baby in my arms at 3:30 in the morning.

"You'll feel so homesick that you'll want to die, and there's nothing you can do about it apart from endure it. But you will, and it won't kill you... and one day the sun will come out and you'll realize that this is where your life is." - Eilis Lacey, Brooklyn

Friday, March 18, 2016

We Have Two Babies

Sometimes, mostly late at night, I think to myself: holy shit we have two babies!  Sometimes, usually in the middle of the day, I say my now familiar phrase that makes my husband laugh: Hey Honey, remember that one time when we brought two babies home?

We spent years saving, months planning, and it cost us a great deal over six figures of cash to get two babies under our roof, and now they are here under our roof.  We are so lucky, so blessed.  It's unbelievable and unfamiliar.  Currently we are living in the sweet and sleepy haze of fatherhood.

We were planning to induce at 37 weeks and 2 days on Monday, March 21, but the twins arrived at 35 weeks and zero days.  We lived an I Love Lucy version of the twins' arrival.  It was such a ridiculous series of goofy events.

Around 2:30 AM on Saturday, March 5 my buzzing cell phone woke me up from my warm bed in Dallas, Texas.  I reached over on the bedside table to grab my phone; as soon as  I saw our surrogate's husband's name on the caller ID I immediately yelled the "F" word and set up in bed.

Our surrogate's husband was so causal and calm wishing me a good morning and other niceties when I heard our surrogate yell three words: "my water broke!"  Our surrogate's husband encouraged us to get in the car and get to Austin very quickly.

The thing is...we weren't ready for the "my water broke" phone call.  We were planning to spend the weekend getting the Go Bag and car seats ready.  It took us an hour to get out the door.  We were packing baby bags, we were packing our bags, we were running upstairs and down stairs and throwing all kinds of stuff into the car.  In the crazy excitement Matt Damon emptied his bladder on the vintage rug - I had to at least clean that up...I'd never left a stain behind in my life.  I was on autopilot.  We were just running around upstairs, downstairs, into the garage.  Chaos.

We stopped loading the car when we ran out of room in the car.  We took off.  But our car was sitting on empty.  We had to stop and fill up.  We took off again.  Remember, we weren't ready.  (Are you ever ready for babies?)  Later, when I analyzed the contents of the car I found an opened box of fruit loops and an unopened large bag of tortilla chips.  I told you it was chaos.

My husband zoomed to Austin, and when we were about thirty minutes out of town we got the text that our surrogate was headed to the OR.  My husband zoomed faster - we were going 90 MPH with our flashers flashing and hoping we didn't have to explain our speeding self to a cop if we got pulled over.  We didn't get pulled over.  (They system works.) After we exited the freeway we ran stop lights and sent texts to our surrogate's husband at every intersection to report our play-by-play.  He was excellent at managing us.

 Our surrogate made everyone wait for us.   She refused to push until we arrived, something I will forever cherish.

We ran into the hospital where two nurses were waiting for us; they helped us get dressed for the OR: overall body suit, cap, shoe covers, and face mask.  We were running to the OR while putting on our masks, and we bust into the OR where a team of a dozen people were waiting for us.  These strangers knew our names because our surrogate had been telling stories about us to help pass the time/delay the push.  Two minutes after arriving into the OR my husband was cutting the umbilical cord for our daughter.  As soon as they pulled her out, before they could weigh her, she peed everywhere.  This made me laugh.  Our son went breach, his sack had not broken, and he arrived all blue and gray 13 minutes after his sister.  Nurses started asking me questions, but I could not speak.  I literally could not make my mouth work.  My speech was paralyzed, and it was terrifying.  Luckily, my husband knows I don't speak when stressed and he answered the questions.  Go team!

Tears were flowing.  People were congratulating us.  It was wonderful.  We were fathers of two screaming babies.  My husband went with our son to the NICU.  I went with our daughter to a labour and delivery room.  She breast fed, met our surrogate's children and husband, and then something happened (her body temperature was low, her breathing was heavy) and the nurses called to get her admitted to the NICU too.  Up we went to join my son and husband.  My husband's parents were there too.

Our children were born on a Saturday and checked out on Wednesday.  Our surrogate knew how to grow healthy babies that were ready for this world at 35 weeks and zero days.

We have two babies!

Thursday, March 3, 2016


"The days are long, but the years fly by."

- The mother of almost 17 year old twins to us in yoga class after she realized we were having twins!

Monday, February 29, 2016


This weekend my brother, my brother's wife, my 8 year old niece, my 5 year old niece, and my husband gathered in our home to celebrate the birth of my husband!  It was my husband's birthday weekend- a moment that should be celebrated!

While five of us were eating grilled fajitas in the kitchen, my 5 year old niece, Paxten, told her sister to watch the iPad sitting in the kitchen with the nursery camera feed on display.  Paxten ran upstairs and mooned the camera.  I could not stop laughing.  My brother had to parent through the moment, but as the uncle I was just laughing in the moment.

Paxten cracks me up.  I'm disappointed I didn't think of that move first!

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

I want to know...

...should I be worried when people find out we're having twins in 20-something days they always advise me to get some sleep while I can OR research hiring a night nanny?

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Oh Baby, I feel things...

This is not a cry for help.  (Don't worry, Mom!)  It's more of an observation. This blog is best when I'm completely honest....

In about 4 weeks two tiny people will be joining our household for the next ~18 years, and that is starting to scare the shit out of me.  Normal?

Our DINK life is over, forever.  We've had such a spectacular life.

If anyone is monitoring my standing, I'm officially in the freak out mode.  But, I didn't need to state the obvious.

I hope I don't fail on most levels of fatherhood.

I hope I figure out fatherhood, because right now when I think about fatherhood it's on the same level as when I think about taking a road trip with Oprah.  I can imagine how fun it's going to be, but it doesn't seem like it's really ever going to happen.  Except it IS happening.

I hope I don't forget to feed one of the babies - one time I was really busy with work and I forgot to feed Trigger, our non-human son.  It happened.  We should talk about it.  I'm sorry Trigger.  It's only happened once.  So far.

I hope I don't forget to feed the non human babies.  Trigger, Dooley, and Matt Damon we need to work together.

I hope I can still have a career.  I have more accomplishments to achieve.  Do primary caregivers with babies still achieve things?

I hope I don't become one of those extreme child focused parents that forgets about their marriage.  I see that a lot.  I think it happens slowly.  I still want my husband to look at me like I'm the most beautiful person in the world even though I am not.  I still want my favorite moments in life to revolve around my husband.

I hope so many things right now as I sit on the edge of fatherhood.  Fatherhood.

I'm certain I will find the courage, as all fathers do; but, right now my eyes are wide open, my mind is dazed, and I'm not on any drugs.  What's wrong with me?  Fatherhood?

It's happening.

I'm going to have a son and a daughter.  I am going to be a father!  A father.   For. The. Rest. Of. My. Life.

Should I count to three and jump?  F this. just jump-

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Nanny Issues

This is a first world problem: we've got nanny issues.  My husband and I are 0 for 3 in getting a nanny candidate to show up for an interview.  We still have 5 weeks before the twins are scheduled to arrive, and we're planning to take the first 12 weeks off from work to tend to our babies; however, since neither one of us plans to retire from work, we will need a full time nanny.

We've started socializing that we're looking for a full time nanny candidate with our friends and neighbors that have nannies.   We are delaying using an agency, since nanny agency fees are significant.

Yesterday, Nanny Candidate No. 3 called one hour before her scheduled interview and canceled,  She told me she felt terrible, but she's a Christian woman and she didn't think it was best for her to work in a two dad household.  She said a nanny is an extension of the parents and our values are not aligned, yadda, yadda, yadda.  She apologized three times and told me she felt terrible two times before I cut her off and thanked her for the call.

Last week Nanny Candidate No. 2 called one day before her scheduled interview and said she thought about our family and didn't think we were a match.

Last week Nanny Candidate No. 1 called and said our two houses were 28 miles apart and she didn't want such a long commute.

Now I'm starting to understand why nanny agency fees are so high.  It takes work to find a nanny.  But I'm really hoping our nanny will float down from the sky and stay until the wind changes.


Via my Instagram.

The Subconscious Mind

For Christmas this year my mother and my mother-in-law each generously gave me six sets of Royal Albert's Miranda Kerr designed 3-piece set of bone China; each set includes an 8 inch plate with a cup and saucer.  I am really looking forward to hosting a lovely spring dinner party where we can dine so wonderfully with this very feminine China.  The 8 inch plate will work lovely as a salad plate.  Or, I can host a tea party for twelve.

I enjoy fine China, sterling silverware, diamonds, and art.  Even though I'm middle aged, I don't own any China (beyond this tea set); I only have three place settings of Francis I Sterling by Reed and Barton; there's not a diamond under my roof, and the most exciting piece of art I own was given to me by my husband's dear friend Tim.  Interesting how these things go in life.  I recognize that this "stuff" (China! Silver! Diamonds! Art!) would not make me any happier in life but it still entertains me to a very great extent.  We all get our thrills in our own unique ways.

These 12 sets of 3-piece China delight me, perhaps more so since this is my first China, to a very great extent.  This week, after weeks of being back ordered, my husband's mother dropped off six sets in our house.

The sets arrive in hat boxes.  They're packaged beautifully. I quickly unpacked them and loaded them into my cabinets to enjoy looking at all 12 sets together.  That night I had dreams all night about accidentally throwing away an unpacked box of China.  The next morning, while I was about to truck the empty boxes to the recycling bend, I remembered my dreams.  I went inside and counted my China.  I only had 11 plates.  I counted five times.  I only had 11 plates.  I went through all the emptied boxes and I found one unpacked plate.  Now I have 12 plates.

Isn't that interesting?  My subconscious mind was yelling at me all night long: You forgot to unpack a plate!

Monday, February 8, 2016

Six Weeks Until Babies

It's official.  If the babies haven't arrived before this date, then Monday, March 21 is the date our surrogate, Morgan, will be induced.  It's THE birthday!  That will put the twins at 37 weeks and 2 days.  The journey to fatherhood has been full of surprises, but I would be surprised if they arrive before Monday, March 21; Morgan's body is happy pregnant.  On Friday our son was at 4 lbs. 4 oz. and our daughter was at 3 lbs. 15 oz., which puts my son's and daughter's weight ahead of most singleton pregnancies at this same stage.  Morgan knows how to nurture and grow babies.  It's wonderful.

On Saturday my parents came down to our house for a visit before they returned to their New Mexico house.  As they were departing I realized that the next time I will see my parents we will have babies in our arms.  It was an exciting and strange feeling.

So after years of saving, years of planning, and a year of working with an agency fatherhood is finally within reach.  Six weeks.  Or less.  Fatherhood is upon us.

Thursday, January 21, 2016


My parents gave my husband an Amazon Echo for Christmas, and I'm surprised at how much I've enjoyed having her in our home.  I'm always asking Alexa questions, and she is able to answer most of the time.  There's nothing revolutionary happening with the Echo.  Anything Alexa can do my iPhone could do too.  However, it's nice in the kitchen to get questions answered on demand without queuing up Siri.  Alexa isn't as smart as Siri, yet.

Alexa is an open mic that's connected to the Internet, which means there's 100% chance that someone else in the world is listening to our household.  This isn't safe.  However, our household isn't secretive.  We're normal people having normal conversations.  The US government, the Chinese, or Jeff Bezos won't learn much from listening to us.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Clean Windows Kills Birds

I took the above photo through my window to show you how clean I keep it.  I am most relaxed in my home when it is clean and tidy.  I value cleanliness and order within my home.  Lucky for me I have help.  However, clean windows kills birds.  This is the fifth and sixth bird that I know of  to have died trying to fly though our glass windows.

I'm not joking.  It sounds like gun shots or firecrackers when they hit the window.  I now pay attention in hopes of helping the knocked out birds before Dooley (the resident huntress) finishes the wounded bird.  The first time I witnessed this event, Dooley found the victim first, and Dooley ran around the yard with a half alive bird until she snapped the neck.   Dooley growled at me when I took away her prize.  Only one bird has been able to fly away after trying to fly through our windows, and that's because the bird was some type of hawk - it was large.  These little birds never survive.  It makes me sad, really.

We must be kind to all living things.  I suppose I need to stop cleaning my widows?

Yesterday after I heard the now familiar back to back sound I went outside and held these dying birds in my gloved hand as they took their last gasping breaths.  I then placed the recently deceased on an outdoor table because I wanted their flock to know they were gone.

I didn't feel sorry for the chicken I ate tonight at supper.  This is different.  I didn't eat these two birds.  They didn't need to die.  They just got unlucky.  That's life.  Sometimes unfortunate things happen, but at least the rest of flock didn't try to fly through the glass too.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Two Queens on a King

The last time we purchased a mattress was in 2004.  Our mattress was worn out after 11 years of use, and we've been sleeping on a canoe bed (it had a sunken middle) for a few years.  If you placed a ball on the corner of our bed it would roll to the middle.  Finally my shoulder couldn't take it any more; I'd wake up with soreness because all my weight was pressing into certain points on my body.  In fact, I got better sleep at Christmas when my husband and I were sharing a full sized bed at my parents' house.  It was time for a change.

We are two queens (haaaaay) and we've always slept on a queen bed.

However, we took this moment to upgrade from a queen to a king.  I will miss using the punchline about two queens on a queen, but the king size bed is amazing.  There's plenty of room to stretch out.

Do you think the twins will try to sleep in bed with us?  If so, now we have room for everyone: two men, three dogs, and two babies: all aboard!

Snapshots from Deer Valley

Our hotel had a dinning room table that seated nine people on each side and was made from two solid planks of wood.  The table was made from a very tall tree.  I told my husband I have a new goal for a future dinning room.  (He shook his head.)

Who's the man standing behind the fire?  That's my man.  I also enjoyed the large double sided fireplaces inside the hotel.  It's such a nice element when it's freezing cold outside.

Purple Sage was my favorite restaurant in Park City.  Followed by Prime Steak House and Piano Bar as a close second.  At Purple Sage, the meatloaf was sensational - it had so much flavor per bite.  We started the meal with blue cheese fondue and BBQ chicken tamale pancakes, which meant (unfortunately) there was no room in my belly to try their desserts.  I seriously want to book another trip just so we can try their desserts - it's the life of a fat kid.

In one of the ski lodges this is how they get the leg of lamb going in preparation for dinner.  A grill master had these set up in a few of the wood burning fireplaces around the lodge and he would walk by every few minutes and spin the legs so they'd rotate on their strings.  This was all happening during lunch, which meant it was great advertisement for their dinner menu.

This is an action shot - those legs were spinning.

I didn't get the best photo, but I thought this table was too cool.  I loved how unique the base and legs are designed. It's also a large table.  I have a passion for fine furniture, interesting art, and unique cooking.  I wish my passions were more affordable.  I'm so lucky that we've been on interesting trips where I am exposed to furniture, art, and food!

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Deer Valley

Via my Instagram

Babymoon Number Two

When you're having twins you should get two babymoons, right?  The babymoon concept was new to me, but we're fully embracing it!

We returned from a week of skiing in Deer Valley.  Now that I've had the Deer Valley experience it's going to be a sacrifice to ski on the peasant mountains again.  Ha!  At Deer Valley you don't put on your own ski boots and you don't wait in lines.  They have focused the mountain to host the best ski experience in the world, and it's pretty spectacular.

Here are some observations during our week where we lived like kings!

  • We invested in a private ski lesson for me, which has really improved my technique.  I'm a big fan of ski lessons to improve my skills.  My husband is an Olympic skier; he's been skiing since he was three years old.  I'm just trying to keep up.  (Which is similar to our marriage - it's my husband's world and I'm just trying to keep up!)
  • Not counting us, Deer Valley is a wealthy person's playground.  We were surrounded by a huge international community.  Seriously, most of the people we met were not from the USA.
  • Everyone wears helmets to ski, EXCEPT, the Spanish speaking families do not wear helmets.
  • At breakfast I chuckled when the server had to explain to a group of German men that according to Utah law she could not serve them alcohol at breakfast.
  • Our ski instructor Rob told us the least expensive home in one gated community was around $14M.  Can you imagine the psychological damage you'd incurred if you owned a $14M "starter" home?  Just think the neighbors would come over for drinks and say: "Where's the rest of your house? How do you live in a such a small space? Is this where the help lives?"
  • At dinner one night downtown I heard an elegant lady sitting one table over state to her friends that her house was only 7,000 square feet, which was a big house when they built it 20 years ago although today it's not considered big.  I'm pretty sure she had no idea how that statement sounded to 99% of the world.
  • Fur is back in fashion.  I saw fur everywhere. I did not expect to see fur fashionable, but that's what the wealthy people are wearing nowadays.
  • Our hotel sent us cake (pictured) and champagne when they found out we have twins due in March.  I told you they treated us like kings.
  • Our hotel served the best hot chocolate every afternoon.  I have discovered a love of hot chocolate with whipped cream and marshmallows.  Somethings I wish I hadn't discovered.
  • Tipping your hotel maid a few bucks everyday is a game changer.