Archive for August, 2009

Fear Factor

Sunday, August 30th, 2009

I’ve always joked that some of the dinners at Walter’s parents remind me of Fear Factor episodes.  Well, partially joked, because they did have items I’ve seen on the show – like 100 year old eggs.  There’s nothing like watching a 70 something year old little Chinese woman yell “Just eat it!” at the tv, but I’m getting off track…

So the other form of Fear Factor I was recently introduced to was how you feel when food you know and love goes weird.  My sister, Lindy, just came back from Japan.  She absolutely loved it and took some amazing photos (although they were with a point and shoot – puh-shaw!).  Being the amazing sister she is she brought souvies back for everyone but she also brought a huge assortment of Japanese cuisine.  Ok, cuisine is pushing it.  Japanese junk food.  And on the last night of her most recent visit home we had a big tasting party.  We tried so many different things.  Some of them were amazing, some of them not even worth mentioning, and some that went directly from tastebuds to trash can.  Here was the adventure…


It’s been so long that I don’t exactly remember what everything is.  These were ok.  They looked better than they tasted if I remember correctly.


The “candy” in the cellophane packaging was awful!  I kept waiting for it to get better, because everyone said it would.  It didn’t.  The Kit Kat in the back is flan flavored.  I highly recommend it!



Here’s more Kit Kat.  Green tea, cookies and cream, and coffee flavored.  I’m not sure if they have regular Kit Kat (what we’re used to) but they’re hitting home runs with their other flavors!


The green tea Kit Kat was a little strange because it was, well, green.



They seem to take their green tea very seriously.  Here are coffee and green tea chocolates (like m&ms) from Starbucks in Japan and a Coke with green tea.

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I don’t remember the flavors but here are Oreo candy bars.


Lindy swears that sweet beans are amazing.  Apparently the amazing ones are kept in Japan.  This can of them was… not so much.



These were very good.  I have no idea what they are.


The timing was funny because we just went to a birthday party for friends who live in Japan.  They gave the kids Japanese animal crackers and I almost fought them for it.  They are sooooo good!  More like Ritz crackers than the vanilla cookies we’re used to – yum!

And this last little gem.  Candy made to look like sushi!  How freaking cute, right!?


And anyone who knows our family or follows this blog knows that on the last night of my sister’s visits we always take a sisters photo on my moms green couch.  It is the most unflattering place and position to be photographed in but it’s tradition.  I have no idea what we’ll do if mom ever gets rid of this couch!  I’m happy to report that this year I actually timed my hair and makeup, can I still complain about my weight?  Our old sister photos are here.


And mom.


Family Fun

Tuesday, August 25th, 2009

My sister Lindy and her kids, Natalie and Jeffrey, came to visit a few weeks ago.  It was such a nice week for all of us, except when the boredom of shopping set in and Jeff missed his video games. 

Lindy has been asking for family photos for YEARS.  We’ve been willing but it’s never worked out.  We either ran out of time or it was a bad hair day or half the family was doing something else or… or… or…. well this time Dean (her husband) was missing but we were going to get some photos before another decade passed us by.  We took some at my mom’s house and some out and about.  We have so many photos this will have to span a few posts.  Here are a few favorites at mom’s house that we forced them into just in case they found a laundry list of excuses not to do any during their visit.  I’m so glad that’s not the case but also glad we got these as well.




Jeff is a funny kid.  He loves to wear long sleeves in the summer and shorts in the winter.  It makes my sister crazy.  Well, he also loves this hat, which makes me crazy.  I can’t imagine how hot it is under there, especially with our 90 degree+ weather but he never wanted to part with it.  We shot him in it because it is very Jeff but not really my cup of tea.


Growing up at home we always had pool parties.  Labor day, St. Paddy’s Day, your birthday, it was always a pool party.  Even now that no one lives at home and home isn’t where it used to be we still manage to end up in the pool, for every occasion. 



Kate sporting her sunscreen mohawk…


The one person not interested in a pool party was Julia.  There was a big misunderstanding and we accidentally left her at my parents’ house when we left for the pool.  Keep in mind it’s like a 3 minute walk but her feelings were hurt and she was not going to go swimming…. or so she thought.  She was being super stubborn and showed up at the pool in her clothes.  That didn’t matter to Scott.  She was going in, even if he had to put her there – and he did.

Here’s Julia flying into the pool with a death grip on the patio chair.  I love that you can see Scott’s accomplished hand in the corner of the photo and Nikki laughing hysterically in the pool.



Poor Julia.  She got out of the pool and sat back on the patio furniture.  That wasn’t going to work for Scott.  Back in they went.  Both of them.




If I remember correctly, she eventually gave in and stayed in the pool.  It beat getting tossed in every time she left.



And then the boys flipped.  Scott taught Jeff how to flip into the pool.  Lindy was so nervous she couldn’t watch. 



Jeff always went in sideways holding his nose.  Maybe that’s what threw off his center of gravity.



Walter and I forgot our suits so we just watched from the sidelines.


Unfortunately we also forgot Noah’s suit.  He still wanted to go in so I put him in a swim diaper and deemed it good enough.  Walter wanted to die.  Not because Noah went swimming in only a swim diaper but because of the actual swim diaper.  When Noah was Kate’s age I found a gigantic pack of them at Costco.  It was my second time ever purchasing them.  I didn’t know they came in different styles.  Well, I bought Little Mermaid swim diapers because of it.  Pink Little Mermaid swim diapers.  I told Walter to stop freaking out because the diapers go under the bathing suit and no one would ever see it.  Ever.


Well at least Kate has a million more to go through because it will have to be over Walter’s dead body that the boy ever don the girly swim diapers again.  Maybe that’s why Noah has perfected potty training.  Oh, his poor future therapy bill.

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More flipping…




We had a blast that afternoon and will always laugh at everything that happened and went wrong.  It’s memories like these that sustain us until the next visit.  I miss my sister and her family so much.  Someday I hope we’ll all be closer.  More from the trip next time…

“Uh oh”

Tuesday, August 18th, 2009

“Uh oh!”.  So cute.  So adorable when young toddlers learn to say it, especially after they purposefully launch their sippy cup from the highchair tray.  Kate has everything down pat except the “uh oh” part.  For now she just rambles away in baby language, experiments with volume, and often ends in da da da da or by blowing raspberries. 

“Uh oh” elicits an entirely different reaction when you hear it from your 3 year old.  Your 3 year old who doesn’t use words like “uh oh”.  Usually it’s – “I broke Ayla’s bracelet because I pulled on it too hard.  Will you please tell her I’m sorry?”.  So when the boy is reduced to “uh oh”, we either leap to his aid or pull straws to see who the poor sucker is that has to leap to his aid, which is when we know Kate’s not involved and there is no crying.  Tonight Noah came from the bathroom with this spine tingling “uh oh” and the look on his face like something big was going down.  And then there was this -

Noah: “Uh oh!  Mommy, daddy, there’s a problem in the bathroom.  The water is coming up like this <raises his hands over his head> out of the toilet and it’s going all over the floor!”

Walter and Dawn:  <blink> <blink> <stare>

Dawn:  “Why don’t you come sit back down and finish your dinner, we’ll deal with that when we’re all done (or the water starts making its way into the dining room).”

Noah sits and starts to eat.  God only knows if he washed his hands after all the excitement in the bathroom.

Dawn:  “Did you go poopy?”

Noah:  “No.”

Dawn:  “Did you use toilet paper?”

Noah:  “Uh huh”

Dawn:  “A lot?”

Noah:  “Uh huh….. I used….. FIVE!”   <shows us five fingers to drive the point home>

Walter and Dawn:  <hysterical laughter>

These kids.  They really are here for the comic relief in life, aren’t they?  Well Noah did flood the bathroom.  He probably meant that he put five rolls of paper down the toilet but who hasn’t tried that.  All is well in Yap land now but I wanted to share this with you because it made us chuckle.  And for the record, we recommend using four or less toilet papers in the future.  If you figure out that measurement please let me know!

What’s Up!?

Thursday, August 13th, 2009

What’s up and where have we been?  I’m going to answer it for you all right now.  Yes, we’re still alive.  Yes, we remember your phone number (or have it somewhere).  No, we haven’t fallen off the face of the Earth.  No we’re not mad at you.  Things have been busy.  Crazy busy.  I have been neglecting everyone.  I am very, very sorry.

I have been working tirelessly at launching a new business.  With the two kids always within earshot it has become very hard to plan weddings for clients who expect my full attention (and deserve it).  So until piss and vinegar, I mean Noah and Kate, are both out of the house for a chunk of time every day I’m trying to use my talents for other things.  I just opened “Oh My Bride” (  It is an opportunity for me to still make money and play in the wedding business without having to be on call 24/7 or at the beck and call of a bridezilla with a cell phone.  Sure, I still have “office hours” and plan to interact when I need to but at least the majority of my dealings will now be online and through email to keep me from having to screen calls and dance around nap schedules.  I am still doing weddings, at least until this new venture gains momentum, and I’m looking forward to a packed dance card this winter with events.

As I mentioned before, my sister and her children were in town for 10 days and we took every opportunity to enjoy their company.  We also did my niece, Natalie’s, senior photos while they were here.  With so many interests though it turned into a bit of a marathon and we are still editing.  Here are a few to enjoy for now.

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This is Natalie in her Junior Prom dress.  It was my sister’s (her mother’s) Senior Prom dress but has been reinvented.  Talk about vintage!  We also took some photos of her in her Senior Prom dress but you’ll have to ask her for those.  Wouldn’t want to give too much away before the big event!

Yes, that is a real train.  It was FLYING by.  I’ll spare you the photo with the look on her face that says “You want me to do what!?”.  We have so many beautiful ones to choose from, this is hard!




This isn’t even a sampling of all the shoots.  Like I said, we’ve been busy!

And in the spirit of photos we have (finally) started to embrace our love for the craft and share it with others.  We used to do photoshoots back when film was in and we were still a little (ok, a lot) unsure about the whole portrait thing.  Then it was only for us, then we included friends and family since we’ve learned not everyone can take a photo without chopping heads off.  Fast forward 10 years and hundreds of practice shoots later and we find ourselves getting inquiries left and right.  Family and friends always pushed us to do this and we have seen the light.  To mainstream things a bit and have one central location for our favorite photos we’ve created Yap Originals (  Our friend Lauren actually branded us and always bragged about how many “Yap Originals” she had hanging in her home.  Thanks Lauren!

Here are some photos from our most recent newborn shot.  Isabelle is a doll and she has an amazing family.  What a love!  We have so many other recent shoots that I wish we could share.  Oh, what I could do with free time!





Isabelle’s dad is a firefighter… and she has her own boots!


We were also MIA because we were off getting older.  Walter and I (who are 2 days apart) took the kids to Disney for our birthdays.  It was soooooo hot but also a lot of fun.  We have a million photos to share and will, soon.


The one thing keeping us sane and us as with it as we are (which isn’t very “with” as it turns out) is Kate’s new BFF, Falan.  Falan is the newest addition to the scenery around here.  I hate to call her a nanny, because that sounds so snobby, but she’s so much more than a babysitter.  I don’t know what we’d do without her.  We originally hired her to help until I got Oh My Bride off and running but I’m not sure how we could ever part with her.  Hopefully things start running smoothly and prosperity finds its way to our door so we won’t have to worry about that.  In addition to being amazing with the kids she is ridiculously beautiful.  How lucky was I to talk her into modeling a few hair accessories for Oh My Bride?

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So we’re here.  I appreciate all of you who have reached out to us.  We are grateful for your love and friendship.  Hopefully things will slow down here just a bit so we may have the opportunity to get back into the social scene.

Love you all!