Wednesday, June 29, 2011



(*cough, cough*)


Excuse me.  As if my allergies weren't bad enough this year, now I am sneezing from getting all the dust and cobwebs off of this blog!

It's been a while.  Sorry about that. 

I've had really good intentions to write.  I really have.  Every day I have a moment where I think, "Oooh...this would be good for the blog."  Then when I finally find a moment in the evening to sit down and type, I usually get a few sentences down before I start hearing crying on the monitor or some other interuption.  So in true Ashley fashion, I am going to have to give you one massive update.

Aaron declared the month of June "Aaron's Month" since it was his first Father's Day (which fell on our 2nd wedding anniversary this year), and his birthday (which was yesterday).  We had a lot to celebrate this month. 

I threw a little surprise party for Aaron for his birthday last week.

It was supposed to be a "re-do" of the party we had last fall when he ended up in the emergency room and missed the whole party.  Remember? 

I even fooled him into mowing the lawn and the vineyard the night before, so the place was looking in tip-top shape. 

I just asked people to start showing up at our house and one by one, they started "dropping by."  Until he eventually figured out that I had actually planned something and that 40 people didn't just "happen to be in the neighborhood..." on Friday night. 

Yeah, I gave myself a pat on the back at the end of the night. 

My only regret is not getting the chance to take more pictures. 

These were all I could get of Aaron giving one group of kids and adults a wagon ride. 

And one crappy picture of the campfire.  I didn't get ax-throwing or Hammerschlagen, or pics of all the cute kids playing.  Didn't capture the look on Aaron's face as each guest showed up.  But, I can say that I think people had a good time!

My camera used to be the accessory hanging around my neck.

But I've traded it in for the Baby Bjorn, which means I haven't been able to get as many pictures this year. 

So I stuck Axel in the stroller the other day so I could quick snap a few of the vineyard.

The vineyard is looking mighty fine.  The vines are relatively in control and trained up on the wire.

The only challenge has been spraying this year.  Since we've had so much rain, finding the perfect time to spray has been difficult since there needs to be just the right weather conditions.

Thanks to Aaron's hard work along with our hired help (thanks, Les!), the vineyard is in good shape! 

Quote of the week from Les: "I never knew grapevines were so much work!"

You got that right!

I love a fresh cut lawn!  It makes such a difference in appearance.

Clearly, our dogs have not improved in the "jumping up on our guests" department.

I was too far away to scold them for I zoomed in as far as I could and took a picture instead.  They were greeting my oldest, dearest friend, Megan, who came for dinner while visiting from Maryland.  While I boiled some spaghetti and topped it with a jar of Ragu, she whipped up a rhubarb pie for us.  She's amazing like that. 

Speaking of naughty dogs...

I treated myself to a nice pair of black sandals a few weeks ago.

I didn't even buy them on sale....which is unusual for me.

I wore them once.  ONE time. 

Can you see the foreshadowing in this story?

Yep, I left them out on the floor for one night...

Only to find them all chewed up the next morning. 


I might as well have just handed the dogs a fifty dollar bill to eat. 

The only thing that makes me feel better about it is the fact that they gave me a bad blister on my Achilles heel.


Yesterday was a perfect night.  Gorgeous wind.  It was Aaron's actual birthday.

We picked up a good pizza.

Opened a bottle of good wine.

Axel was in his usual good spirits.

We sat in the Adirondack chairs and watched a plane land on the lake in front of us, putter around the lake for a few minutes and then take off again...right on the water!  You don't get to see that in your back yard too often. 
Although I had gotten him a nice gift for Father's Day, I told Aaron I had spent all my time and energy trying to surprise him last week, that I didn't have a present for him to open for his birthday.  

But he said that was okay.  He didn't need anything. 

He has everything he wants.


Except for maybe a winery. 

We'll get there. 

Axel and the doggies love each other. 

Among his latest milestones of sitting up independently and eating up his sweet peas and carrots, he now reaches for the doggies to try and pet them or grab their noses and squeals with delight. 

He's a pretty happy boy!

And he lights up whenever Daddy walks in the room. 

They're good buds. 

Life is good. 

But it would be even better if we could get this happy little boy to start sleeping more at night!