2011 Chanukah bash

The Kamman’s annual Chanukah party has been an important staple of the holiday season for many years now. (2009, 2010) We take an untraditional approach to celebrate Sol’s background and the festival of lights complete with latkes and home-made apple sauce, a Chanukah bush, decorating Macabee cookies and driedel drinking games.

I actually have more Chanukah decorations now than Christmas decorations. This year I was really committed to the decor, so much so that I actually sewed! I cut and sewed the pennants with a little help from my mom and her ancient sewing machine- using FOUR, yes, FOUR awesome Chanukah fabrics from Joann. I also made some table squares (although I used hem tape for those!) (I don’t sew, this is a big deal)

Most of the time Sol and I bust our butts cooking ALL of the food, which is tricky because ¬†the latkes require most of our attention and kitchen space. This year we did a potluck, which was awesome because 1.) we could actually hang out and enjoy the party out of the kitchen and 2.) we got to taste everyone else’s awesome dishes!

Another new edition was the Chanukah “photo booth” I even made some silly props.

And what’s kind of Chanukah party is it until Santa shows up!?!?

 

a taco truck birthday bash

In November, our fabulous photographer friend Bill Foster turned 40! His cute and crafty wife Jennifer (AKA Fun Jenny) threw him a driveway taco truck party, which was delicious and fun.

I’ve decided that hiring a taco truck to come feed a birthday party is also genius idea, no cooking and the mess just drives away when you are done!

It doesn’t mean that Jennifer got off easy with the preparations. She went over the top with other cute thematic touches:

Exibit A:

She made the cupcakes, they had tequila lime frosting and were To. Die. For.

Also not pictured but essential: a margarita machine! There were also various Mexican beers and Coke in bottles for the kids.

Apple Hill

I am so excited that Fall is here. I love this delciously fallish weather, I love getting out the boots, coats and scarves, I love all things pumpkin flavored, colored or related, and I love the beginning of soup season.

I could go on and on, but one of my favorite parts of fall in El Dorado County is the opening of Apple Hill, a local hot spot for family fun and delicious Apple related treats. There is pretty mountain scenery, fun activities for kids, crafts and activities, not to mention: apple cider, apple doughnuts, apple fritters, apple pie, caramel apples, apple beer (you get the idea…)

Last weekend we needed a family play day so we trekked up to High Hill, along with every other family in El Dorado County apparently. We had a great day, walked around, had lunch, enjoyed the beautiful weather and got a very carefully timed picture of Lola in an unattended barrel of apples.

In case you missed it…

Wow, I have proven that having a new baby and maintaining a family blog is an impossible task! Now that Lola is getting into a little more predictable routine I am going to make it a goal to be better about updating the ole blog, especially since I have so many beautiful pictures of my sweet Lola to post and wise words from an experienced (HA!) momma to share.

Looking back on the last few months, it’s no wonder I haven’t had time to update! Here’s what’s been going on with the Kammans…

Lola celebrated her first holiday….

….Easter! It was also a big weekend because Lola got to meet her Aunt Kelley and Uncle Roger. We had a great weekend with family doing what we do best: Eating, drinking and celebrating!

Sol turned 28

……with a nice mellow day. We had a little family celebration for Sol and Kelley over Easter weekend, and then on his actual birthday Lola and I spoiled him with a delicious lunch and Relish Burger on the patio. That night, Grandma Cece and Papa Tom had their first official babysitting job while we went out to dinner with the Tennis’s and the Wards, and then drank beer on the patio of one of our favorite pre-Lola haunts, the Streets of London Pub.

Brittany celebrated her first Mother’s day

….I had only been a mommy for 5 weeks but I got a wicked spoiling! Sol and Lola dropped me off to get a massage, and then picked me up to take me out to a delicious brunch at Sienna. We had an amazing meal and bottomless mimosas which was followed (naturally) by a family nap/snuggle. Then we went to my parents house for a great dinner planned and cooked by Sol and my dad.

Lola went on her first overnight trip/girls weekend

……..with her brave mommy! This was also a special weekend because Lola got to meet her godmother Amanda. We picked up Amanda from the airport and headed to Groveland, to a cabin in the woods to celebrate at Bianca’s bachelorette retreat. Lola was such a good girl all weekend, such a good girl that she made this mothering thing look a little too easy. She had a great time being “one of the girls”, playing, socializing and even sporting her first flower crown!

Sol graduated from USF with his Masters Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy

…..Well, kind of. He won’t officially be done until August, but he walked and we celebrated accordingly with TWO parties, one fancy dinner in San Francisco at Ocean Beach Chalet, and another dinner with local friends the next night. He has worked SO hard for 2 years, maintaining straight A’s and becoming an amazing and trusted therapist (while working full time AND being a great husband and dad!) I am incredibly proud of him and what he has accomplished!

Brittany went back to work

….and then stopped working again! Ah, the joys of being a teacher and lucking out with a *nearly* perfectly timed birth. After 11 weeks of maternity leave, I went back to work for a whole 9 days to close out the school year and then started my summer break, with another joyful 9 weeks of Lola bonding ahead. It included about 3 semi-serious days of teaching, and then field trips, end of the year celebrations, 8th grade graduation and last day of school parties. It felt good to close out the year with my students and¬†colleagues, and I am looking forward to returning to the same school and grade level in the fall for my 5th year of teaching and my 3rd year of junior high art. (Although NOT looking forward to leaving Lola, but that’s another story!)

Brittany turned 28

….and my biggest present was summer vacation! My birthday was the day of 8th grade graduation. Sol and Lola picked me up to take me out to a birthday lunch on the patio of Bistro 33. We also celebrated with a dinner at Fats (my favorite!) and Sol and I even got some grown-up time at Scarlett’s (anther of our favorite pre-Lola haunts..)

Lola became a lake rat

….just like her mommy! Lola had her first trip out on Papa Tom’s boat on Lake Folsom. She napped under the deck of the boat in the shade and was lulled to sleep by the motor, just like I did at her age! This is the first of many, many boat outings she will surely have this summer and in her life.

Lola became an expert camper

….and got her 2 best nights of sleep ever, 9 and 10 hours straight- IN A TENT! If that doesn’t say natural camper, I don’t know what does! We had a great weekend with friends and fun playing with Lola in one of our favorite places ever, Coloma!

Brittany and Sol celebrated their 3rd wedding anniversary

…..in the beautiful and magical spot on the American River that we wed on the summer solstice, 3 years ago! We spent the weekend camping with friends, and then on our actual anniversary, Grandma Cece and Papa Tom babysat so we could go on a much needed and super fun date. We ate at Fats and then saw Super 8, followed by a summery treat from Pinkberry. After putting Lola to bed, we finished the night toasting to 3 years with champagne from our wedding day champagne flutes while watching videos from our wedding. It was a perfect way to commemorate 3 years and reflect on the importance of our vows and our ever-evolving relationship. Cheers to many, many more!

Time Lapsing

Sol has been quite the photographer lately, thanks to our new toy, a Canon T2i. He’s made some really amazing videos, and more recently has been playing with time-lapse. He sets up the camera with a tripod and connects his laptop as an intervalometer to automatically take a picture every few seconds or minutes and then edits it together to create the time-lapse. Last weekend he shot two, both of which turned out pretty cool. The first one is of us washing my car, which condenses an hour of our hard labor into a fun 54 second clip:

Later that afternoon we packed a lunch and a blanket and went up to a beautiful and picturesque place in El Dorado Hills at the top of Beatty Dr. You can see the whole lake, all of Folsom, and most of the greater Sacramento area, including the actual city. We spent about 4 hours up there and watched the sunset, it was a beautiful afternoon. I read a book while Sol worked his magic on the sunset time-lapse.

 

Sol and his set-up

The beautiful view