Monday, December 27, 2010

we're baaaack

So this past month we have started earning a living for the first time, moved south to the border, logged over 27 hrs. in the car (with our 2 kiddos), and a few other things here and there....all without the internet! So I'm starting from the beginning folks, with one of the most important days of the year.
Birthday happened to be moving day so the house was empty and the presents were put in grocery sacks, but Kev was spot on with the gifts.

The book was from my in-laws, and the power sander and staple gun from my smart hubby (aren't they lovely?). The tools have already been put to good use.

Since we were moving Thanksgiving week I was excused from making the big dinner. Instead we went to Maggianos (an Italian restaurant) with Kev's parents, and it was AMAZING! Even more kids sat through the 3 hr. meal and I was able to enjoy every bit of it.

The next day we left Colorado to move to our new home in Texas. It was bittersweet to leave a place that we loved so much, but it helped that Kev had just graduated and would be working for the first time in our 6 year marriage.

After all those hikes and camp outs, I still always considered myself more of a city girl who had married a mountain man. But it was painful leaving those beautiful mountains behind.

Goodbye amazing weather, goodbye green grass and all other forms of plant life, goodbye beautiful wild flowers and amazing hikes, goodbye pretty streams and mountain lakes, of course goodbye good friends (and goodbye skiing, you will be missed by Kev).

Saturday, November 27, 2010


I had to share these gems with everyone. It's too precious to keep to myself.
This past Thursday three precious babies joined my Chow side of the fam. My brother and his wife had a new baby girl, Chloe, AND my dad and his wife had twins, Lila and Ethan! I think it's incredible and wish I could hold each one of them.
Congratulations fam! I love you all!


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Class of 2010

Kev's graduation was last night. This has been a long time coming (10 years and 3 months to be exact), and it feels SOOOO good to be done. Congratulations Dr. McMinn, I'm so proud of you, so much that I'm even laying off the fake Dr. jokes. You did it!

The newest crop of University of Colorado Orthodontists.

And the supporting cast, I think there were 10 babies born during the Ortho residency to these awesome women (yes I'm awesome)!


The El Paso, TX crew. All five families will keep the partying going on down south.

Pre Graduation pics. This was a big night, I even busted out the makeup. Pretty sad when your nearly 4 year old keeps saying "mom, you look different", and "what's that green color on top of your eyes?". Surely I have worn make up in the past 4 yrs.

So giddy to be done. It's not very often you graduate from student life and start your first real job at 31.
I'm still giddy.

Love you Kev

Friday, November 12, 2010

rock star

I am not a hair mom. I don't have the slightest clue how to do my own hair, let alone my girl's. Almost every time we are out in public I have a moment where I look at Ry and Sophie's hair and think, I am officially one of those moms. The one with the kids that have bed hair at noon and breakfast crusted onto their faces. Couple Sundays ago Sophie woke up with some rock star hair and instead of a lame attempt at trying to tame it, we went with it...and it was actually an improvement from her normal do.

At least it's better than what her sister went through at that age (who does that to their kid?).

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

i do declare...

there has been a murder

Our awesome friends the McDonoughs hosted a murder mystery dinner.
Let me set the stage before we introduce the suspects.
It's 1940 on a train to Paris.

We have the ladies
The journalist, socialite, dress designer, princess

and the gents.
la duke, gangsta, business man, pilot

Getting in character. I was sold on the shoulder pads of that dress...they were awesome!

We enjoyed an elegant dinner and there was a lot of giggling.
Such a fun night, I was awful at playing my part which is too bad because guess who done it!?

Yours truly.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

the princess and chinese girl

Introducing the princess and the Chinese girl (for lack of a better name)....

When grandma asked Ry in the store, "do you want to be a princess for Halloween?" I knew she had sealed the deal. Which actually worked out great because g'ma bought her the princess dress (her only hope of having a cool costume). Sophie's costume was an outfit we picked up during a trip to Hong Kong.
Thank goodness for 'Trunk or Treats', if it wasn't for them Ry would have no idea people passed out candy on Halloween.

Sophie had a blast walking around and shoving candy into her bag, which I am currently using as my own stash. Mama has a sweet tooth. Ry loved it and is excited to eat all the skittles, starburst, and the other pure sugar candies...and is giving the yucky chocolate candy bars to dad.
Hope you all have secret candy stashes too.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

cleaning up shop

I know some of you ladies out there have WAY more jeans than this. This is 8 years worth...not bad.

3 weeks + 3 days
The count down is on until graduation!
I'm in the process of packing and purging.
So long Luckys from high school with the slits in the hem (do you know the ones?).
Goodbye freshman 15 jeans...I vow you will never fit again.
And lots of other junk from around the house. Feels good to minimize my life.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

birthday do over

Kev's b'day came and went the beginning of October without any singing, cake, or presents.
BUT, I did send him to school with any good mom (I mean wife) would do.
AND, he did go on a man trip to New Orleans with all his classmates for a conference.
so don't feel too bad for the guy.
The next weekend I declared a birthday do over and redeemed myself a little bit.
I surprised him with a date (a round of golf).
We went out to dinner with the kiddos (secretly wishing we were still on a date).
Then we came home to cake and presents!

Sophie eating her cake...
and Ry's cake
still not satisfied, she moved on to the rest of the cake. You can see the damage she caused.

Dad showing off his loot (helmet and bike jersey).

The cake was one big experiment.
Started off with Kev's favorite chocolate chocolate chip zucchini cake.
Substituted the egg with flax and water (for Ry).
Substituted most of the sugar with honey.
Substituted most the flour with wheat flour.
Substituted the oil with apple sauce.
And used the dairy/egg free chocolate chips (for Ry...which are fantastic).
I also added almond butter to the frosting (which made the consistency totally weird).
And still used 10 lbs. of sugar for the frosting.
It was tasty and I felt a tad better as I devoured half the cake.

Sunday, October 17, 2010


I had one of those moments a few weeks ago when I was really craving a project.
(those cravings are few and far between, but strong and must be satisfied).

So I got it in my little brain to try to reupholster a chair.
It requires hardly any sewing (and no patterns) so it seemed right up my alley.
Plus I have mad skills with a staple and glue gun.

So anyhow...after finding a $10 chair, and pulling out a bazillion staples (and punching myself in the sternum after one particularly stubborn staple) here is the result.
The before is on the left. I'm still a little sad I painted over the pretty wood. Overall I'm pretty pleased with the result although it is far from professional quality and I had some major issues with puckering material (don't look too closely at the pic).

another angle

And of course my handy dandy helper. I was so determined to finish this all on my own but I needed a staple gun with a little more mmph (hint hint...upcoming birthday). And let's face it...I also need a little more patience and a whole lot bigger attention span.

Thanks for your help Kev. I know old used furniture is starting to grow on matter what you say.

May I add I've browsed the Craig's list for El Paso and it is pathetic so I'm planning ahead for any future whims of projects I may want to do. I am currently hoarding used furniture in my garage much to Kev's dismay.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

love us some visitors

We had some visitors this past week.
Grandpa & Grandma Mc and Grandma Lou came to hang out.
My girls are so lucky to get so much love and attention.
First up, Grandpa and Grandma Mc.
Some snuggle time during General Conference. I actually got to hear the speakers. So nice the sessions and naps coincided.

An Autumn drive and picnic (and hanging around for a couple hours to kill time since they closed the road right after we arrived). Thanks to Grandpa Mc for "walking" Ry around the parking lot.

Next up...Grandma Lou's visit
I somehow ended up with zero pictures of this special lady.
We did however do a photo shoot of the girls in their new Dora jammies from g'ma.
Ry is Dora's biggest fan. She can use the Spanish she has learned from Dora in El Paso.

Went to a Pumpkin Fest, lured there by the promise of a "pumpkin patch". The real deal...a bunch of pre picked pumpkins scattered on the ground, a pumpkin launcher that mislaunched and could have taken someone out, and three flat tires on my double jogger from those stupid goat heads (thorn...not actual goat head). But there WAS delicious kettle corn a good outing.

Thanks for coming. Please come again.

Friday, October 1, 2010

it's official

A few weeks ago Kev and I went to an interview out of state (location disclosed later for dramatic effect). We left our kids behind with some of our favorite friends, the McDonoughs (thank you, thank you, thank you). Traveling without kids in one word is DELIGHTFUL! Kev and I even held hands through the airport.'s official. The McMinns will be moving to El Paso, TX come November. Shocked? I was too, but I'm excited and more importantly confident in our decision.

We will be sad to say goodbye to Colorado, which can only be described as being THE perfect state for us. But I will not judge you El Paso by your close proximity to the most dangerous city or your lack of snow and grass. Looking forward to our next adventure.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Berry Patch Farms

There is something truly satisfying about picking fresh fruits (or veggies) and eating them...right there on the spot. The girls and I met up with some friends and went a picking (strawberries and raspberries).

This place was really cute, where else can you get in line for strawberry rides?

Tractor ride. Ry and her good buddies, Ethan and Blake.

Time for picking! Picking berries with Sophie on the loose was a little rough. I think the girl ate a whole strawberry plant. She does not care if a berry is red or white (or mushy brown), or if the stem and leaves are still all goes in the mouth. She was pretty excited for the strawberry free for all.

picking, picking, and more picking.

I could sit on a porch in rocking chairs eating our spoils all day.
Unfortunately we downed our berries by lunch time and Kev got to hear how delicious they were, but did not get to taste any. So we took him with us the next time we went.

So good. Too bad they are already about gone.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Taste of Colorado

I knew this evening would be fun:
1. we were meeting some of our favorite people (from Dental School), the Reids
2. the night was all about food and lots of it
Now if I hadn't wolfed down the delicious beignets, gyro, pierogies, and funnel cake I might have had time to take pics. of the goods.

There was a salsa band, which Ry and Dillon were really feeling because they were shaking their bootays.

One of the people I still to this day miss from our days in the Burgh.

Carni rides. Wonder how many people get hurt on these?
Ry thought they were a little too scary, which was fine with me because that meant we had enough tickets for a funnel cake instead.