Saturday, January 29, 2011

intimations on mortality

a conversation with summer today:

"what does it mean to die?"

"die is when cars get me, and i not be here any more.  and Jesus will save me from the monsters."

Thursday, January 27, 2011

princess play date

dear l, m, r, and j:

summer would like to invite all her best girls over for a princess play date this thursday the 27th at 10:00am.  there will be a special screening of summer's new fave movie, sleeping beauty, plus a light princess snack of pink lemonade, scones or muffins, and white chocolate dipped strawberries.  various and sundry princess/dress up attire is welcome.

let me know if your little girl would like to attend! (moms: plan on picking up your princesses at around noon).


emily & summer (and afton, too)

i super heart this group of girls.

now, nobody move so we can all grow old together.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


fare thee well, size three pants.  
i'll never forget the four glorious months we spent together.

Monday, January 24, 2011

angel food

though i have cooked and baked and entertained for a fair number of folks, there remains two gentlemen who are notoriously difficult to impress: my father and my father-in-law. both, i would say, have pretty specific tastes, and neither is much for flowery gushes -- especially when it comes to their food. so i am beyond thrilled when i get a "that was pretty good" from either of them.

HOWEVER, i finally did it. i finally conquered at least one of their palates. we had bryan's parents at our house this past weekend, and for sunday dinner, i made an angel food cake, as it is both bryan's and mike's favorite. after dousing the cake in bryan's blackberry sauce, and as we were all savoring bites, a sort of quiet, normal-toned, and nonchalant mike declares "this is the best angel food cake i've ever had." *gasp* it can't be. doth mine ears deceive me? where's ashton kutcher -- am i being punk'd? i look to bryan to make sure he heard it, too. *double gasp* he did! the statement every chef, every cook, heck, everybody wants to hear. i didn't make a big deal about it at the time because i was afraid that if i shifted in my chair or breathed wrong, he might take it back. it's just now starting to sink in. that's right: best. ever. holla!

uh-hem, first off, i would like to thank the pennsylvania dutch and alton brown for making it all possible. and secondly, dad, i'm coming for you next.

Friday, January 14, 2011

screaming infidelities

it's true: the wheelers know how to rock a date night.

(here i am showing off my hard core concert entrance stamp -- 
i think it might be the international sign for fanta.)

bryan and i determined recently that live performances is the activity that i bring to our marriage. it's something i inherited from my parents (first concert at eleven) and which was solidified at alanis morissette in 2001. corina (shout out!) and i stood around for hours and hours and hours, but when alanis got on stage, and everyone in the crowd who had ever been screwed over by someone else (which is, like, everyone) screamed along with "you oughtta know," it was electric.  the community feeling of all these people who have felt the way you have felt and who are listening to the same music you're listening to -- it's incredible and a large part of why i love live shows. the other part being the fab talent, of course.

anyhoo, bryan and i have been to a decent number of concerts together (fun wheeler family factoid: the only concert that bryan has gone to sans emily was his first, dave matthews in 1998), but one has always itched at the back of my brain -- dashboard confessional in 2006.  for a reason that i can't quite remember (my guess is that the opening acts took an incredibly long time and that dashboard was not all that great live), we left early.  chris carrabba performed maybe three songs and we were gone.  

enter the swiss army romance 10th anniversary tour of 2011.  i knew we had to go and give dashboard a second chance.  this time, the venue was much, much smaller, and the show was acoustic.  luckily, both turned out to be pluses:  i loved the intimate setting (we were about fifteen sweaty teenagers away from being able to touch the stage), and chris can really rock an acoustic show. as added bonuses, the openers were phenoms (particularly loved lady danville), and the entire crowd knew all the lyrics to every dashboard song -- even harmonizing (like we were in a flashmob) on a few select pieces.  

however, while the show was great and made us feel like uber emo punk rockers, there is an unfortunate ending to this tale. as much as we wish we had the bodies and responsibilities of seventeen year olds (heck, i'd even bargain for twenty-one), we do not.  after four hours of standing in a hot and crowded space, getting our eardrums blown out, the clock struck twelve (okay, eleven), and we had to leave early again.  after all, it's a school night and would be irresponsible of us to leave our babysitter alone much after midnight.  plus, our backs hurt, and we have 8am meetings and children who will be up wanting breakfast unspeakably early. bummer, i know.  

so sadly, we missed the last half hour of dashboard's show, our song, "as lovers go" (a point that i am still upset over), and at the end of the day, i guess dashboard is going to suck some more money out of us, 'cause we're going to have to try one more time to see if it's possible for us to make it all the way through a show.  fingers crossed.

in the meantime, child: bryan dedicates this remix to you:

Thursday, January 13, 2011

i am finally a real mom


summer's first crustless sandwich.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

eighteen months

1.11.11: one of the coolest dates ever, and the day we celebrate baby cakes afton having rocked our world for a year and a half.

what to say, what to say, what to say about this little lady? well, first off, afton is large and in charge (and LOUD). she's pretty sure she rules the universe, and i think if you asked her, she would state matter-of-factly that she is the firstborn child (i sense some old testament style drama on our horizon).

and though she dislikes sharing her parents with summer, afton adores her sister and gets very concerned if ever the two are separated (heaven forbid one of them wakes up before the other because it won't be long until there is screaming and crying and clawing at the sleeping sister's door).

afton is also a genius.  i know every parent says that about their children, but really, she is.  her verbal skills, comprehension, and retention are off the charts.  as is that cutest ever dimple.

she is a curious, crazy little tasmanian whirlwind babe in training, and she fits right in with the rest of us wheeler women (isn't bryan lucky?)

so move over o'doyle:  afton rules!

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Skyline Lake Snowshoe

Jonathan, Adam and I left Duvall at 5:30AM to get up to Stevens Pass before dawn. After working out some kinks in new equipment (and giving Adam a hard time for wearing women's snowshoes), we pointed our snowshoes straight uphill and started climbing to Skyline Lake (full trail description).

Here is our assessment:

1. You can follow the service road most of the way up. It's hard work when covered in fresh powder, but much easier than going straight up the mountainside.
2. A quarter mile from the lake, the service road veers off toward the wrong direction. If fresh snow has covered the tracks of others, make sure you bear left when the road zig zags to the right one last time time.
3. You *can* follow the road back down, but I recommend running straight downhill. You can make it from the lake to your car in just under 20 minutes.

a swing and a miss

so bryan and i have some pretty rogue philosophies around christmas traditions (hint: santa claus does not visit the wheeler home) which i won't regale you with now (but am open to standing on my soap box at some other time, perhaps). anyway, as part of these traditions, the sum of our gifts to our children is what's in their stockings -- which amounts to about four small items each.  and being so few, i try to spend extra time thinking and strategizing as to what the girls would enjoy. after all, even radicals like us want to see a little glimmer and gleam in our children's eyes christmas morn.

this year, i'd say we achieved our goal overall; however, one of the gifts was a plague unto both their houses.  the toy was for afton who was disgusted and thought it of evil origin (and it turns out summer would not touch it either).  i'm still not exactly sure what the turn off is, but i suppose the damage is done.

robot for sale?
(psst - facebook users, there is a video)


i've noticed that a lot of folks have been writing about their resolutions for the new year lately (how apropos). and while my goals for 2011 have yet to be formally developed, i just wanted to indulge myself ('cause, you know, it's my blog and all) and throw these inspiring babies in the pot:

my fourth (9 yr.) and fifth (10 yr.) grade annual objectives, respectively.

so after reviewing these lists eighteen years later, only two goals actually stick out to me as having been achieved as stated. first, my handwriting. it's true that before fifth grade, my handwriting made teachers sob in horror, and now it's so stellar that sometimes i write things down just to see how beautiful it looks (no, seriously). and second, my grades. having had somewhat of a rocky start in school (i was the girl who sucked on her desk at the back of the classroom), i realized at around nine years old that i was more than just a pretty face and would go on to rock the socks off academia.

 here are a few other things i noticed:

1) i still don't know how to juggle.
2) it would be ten (TEN!) more years until i got my first kiss (shout out to w. e. lemmon wherever you are), though the intent may very well have appeared on every one of my annual goal lists from here on out.
3) gosh, was i always this boy crazy? and what is up with the birthday party obsession?
4) if i ever DID know how to play marbles, i have now forgotten.
5) knowing me, i probably did start wearing deodorant at ten, though puberty (and thus the actual need for deodorant) would elude me for three more years.
6) mein deutsch ist zehr verboten.

 and just because i know you wanna:

fourth grade emily:

fifth grade emily:

whose goals for the year should have included either
stop wearing socks that match your shirts or get longer pants.
probably both.

Saturday, January 08, 2011

flappin jack

you know what else january needs? 

more pancakes (*cough* whole wheat) for breakfast.

now, if i could just figure out who's going to wash all the dishes...

Friday, January 07, 2011

rainy days and mondays

january is pretty much my least favorite month of the year.  i don't know, there's something about it that makes me want to sit under a blanket, eat spoonfuls of nutella (or, what's that you say?  spoonfuls of peanut butter rolled in chocolate chips? uh yes, that would also do the trick), and watch 80s sitcoms all day.  (hey, don't judge, i still drag my butt to turbo kick at 6am).

anyhoo, i've thought about fighting the lull and becoming more productive and all, but, nah, it's time to just give in and embrace my inner january.  after all, who doesn't need one month a year to brush up on their my two dads trivia?

so the ladies and i decided that today was a chocolate chip cookie and cloudy with a chance of meatballs kind of day.

a fine day, indeed.

Sunday, January 02, 2011

the godfather

gone girly.

summer is a sunbeam

january 2, 2011
summer's first day of primary.

ring out wild bells

afton and summer enjoying root beer floats on new year's eve.

dear 2011:  ready or not, here they come.