Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween 2013

From the Avengers!

Seriously, these two were WAY too excited for gparent day and showing off their costumes at gymnasitcs. Not interested is keeping still for a civilian photo-opp. Gotta take what you can get with these heroes. ;)
We're doing our usual tricking-n-treating with our besties in the next town over this evening. And yes, this year: no homemade costumes. The boys have continued to come home from gparent day with a different costume over the weeks and have been so excited about their dress-up collection that I decided to KISS {Keep It Simple, Stupid.} ;) No need to stress about something if they're content with what they've got. Looking forward to celebrating with our little gang this evening! 

Hope you enjoy yours with yours!! 

swenson gang

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Kookiest Pit-Stop // Bravo Farms

 On our way back home Sunday afternoon, we made THE most unusual pit-stop: Bravo Farms

This place has the oddest collection of antiques, hand-built kid houses, a shooting gallery {a Swenson favorite}, chicken coop, goats, mini-golf course, and a hand-built seven story tree house. There was also a BBQ jot, creamery, fruit stand, gift shop, and wine and cheese tasting on site. Seriously, this place was a smorgasbord of everything under the sun, and then some. 

 Did I mention it was kooky?!

What we thought was going to be a 20 minute stop, turned out to be well over an hour and a half. We decided to have lunch there too. The wood burning grill tri-tip sandwich was delish. And we grabbed some of our new favorite flavored milk at their creamery! So bummed that Rosa Brothers isn't carried up here! The kiddos passed out before we even pulled back onto the freeway and it was a delightful drive home the rest of the way. 

Such a good good weekend with our littles. My heart was filled and my bucket-list shortened. ;)

Monday, October 28, 2013

4:35 AM

That's the time we all woke up to head to the Rosa Brothers Dairy Farm
Because I was getting to cross off one of my bucket list items!!! Hand-milking a cow! :)
We met Mr. Rolland Rosa at the milking barn at 5am. Several milkers were leaving because they had done most of the milking by then. Did you get that? Most of the milking by then.
They have to milk their 1,000 cow herd every single day, twice a day. That means each cow is milked via machine for 8 minutes. The two Rosa brothers are third generation farmers and still see over each milking as well as the other process to care for the cows.

Mr. Rolland gave me a quick lesson in hand-milking.
Then he let me go to town for as long as I wanted. :)
Hand-milking was so much harder than I had expected!! Mr. Rolland's dad and siblings had to milk 11 cows each by hand twice a day when they were growing up. I can not even imagine. Especially based on the five minutes I actually milked. After awhile my hand cramped so then he let me put on the pump machine to see how it works. Quite similar to a human pump, but more vacuum power and has two extra covers.
 I liked having some background knowledge already about how this whole thing works. ;) There are so many similarities between both Mamas. And much like what I've experienced from nursing, feeding time provides relief. You could tell some of these cows were antsy to get things going! I also noticed that after being milked, the cows got anti-bacterial dips {that dark orange-yellow-ish liquid on the floor you may have noticed in the above pictures} so nothing could re-enter at the site. No mastitis for these cows. ;)
 W got in on the milking too.
The whole experience was amazing. Our entire gang had a blast and learned so much. You could tell the farm take great pride in caring for their herd {we learned later on the farm tour just how well they do that}. It truly is an amazing operation to gather the 8,000 gallons of milk these cows produce.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

E+ T || Los Altos Hills Wedding

I had the privilege of spending the day with my sweet girlfriend, Tara, from Tara Marie Photography at a local wedding. She was kind enough to let me tag along, teach me the ropes, and let me shoot along side during most of the wedding event. I'd be lying if I said I didn't fall in love and can't wait to do it again. 

This backyard boutique wedding had such a great vintage and personal vibe. The bride's grandma's house served as the venue, and her dress as the bride's wedding gown. It was such an intimate gathering-- to be witnesses of their love and celebrate long-standing family traditions. 
Congratulations to a beautiful couple and another huge thank you, Tara, for generous and making it look easy. ;) I've got a lot of work cut out for me ahead.