Tuesday, March 4, 2014


Ella - she's not afraid to get dirty.  She falls hard for all little creatures.  After she found this salamander she named it, built a little house for it in the yard, and provided some food and water right outside the door of the little house.  Later that night when we got home she insisted on checking on her friend.  Sadly she was gone and Ella looked for her for the next couple of days...she was worried about her.  Yes, the salamander was a she ;)

Julian - Fist time with a hockey stick while we were on a field trip.  He LOVED it!!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014


Ella - often deep in thought...this is sometimes a source of my frustration when I need her to do something, but I want to nurture this in her, she is a thinker.

Julian - this is how he moves...sometimes it's a quick little dance across the kitchen, or a couple of hops down the hall, but this boy rarely walks.

Monday, February 17, 2014


Ella - conquering the tree house

Julian - first experience at Skate Depot

Monday, February 10, 2014


Julian - he's fearless
Ella - so proud of the little house for "trashies" she created with daddy and Julian

Tuesday, February 4, 2014


Ella - soaking in the sun on a cold beach day

Julian - he has always been on the smaller side, but those little legs seem to be stretching lately.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014


Ella - Running free on a beautiful beach day...lots of big smiles

Julian - Sleepy eyes and a sand freckled nose after running like crazy at the beach

Monday, January 20, 2014


Ella - She has more purses, bags, and pouches than I do.  Whenever we go somewhere, even if it is just down the street for a little bit of outdoor science, she loves to pack a few things in one of her bags.  She's prepared!

Julian - he loves any time we get out of the house to do a little school. We need to do it a little more often.

Sunday, January 12, 2014


Julian - my favorite laugh...deep belly, eyes closed

Ella - she can always find the biggest or the tiniest anything.

Friday, January 10, 2014


I loved the portrait series I did last year of taking one picture each week of the kids.  I definitely did not get a picture in every week but I want to give it a go again this year. Looking back and seeing the  change over one year makes me want to step up to the challenge again.  I want to try to capture a little more of who they are with these pictures...facial expressions, activities they are into, their personalities, etc.  

Ella - ok, so I'm already cheating.  This picture is from Christmas day.  We were getting ready to leave to my aunt's house and she came walking out with her floral crown.  Love it!!

Julian - flying his remote control helicopter.  When he is in deep concentration or when he is doing something challenging, that little tongue always pops out.  

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Icing on our cake

We celebrated in the desert last year and this year we decided to stay close to home.

We headed to Laguna for a little paddle and a hike.  
The water was cold, but luckily on a paddle board you can stay almost completely dry.  Almost!  Andy won't ever let me forget about the time I fell in fully clothed...fully, as in jeans and a sweatshirt.  I blame it on the couple on the bike paddle boat who had no idea what they were doing, haha.  I'm pretty sure it was a funny sight, but cold wet jeans has got to be one of the most miserable experiences.  
I would still wear jeans and a sweatshirt when I need it, but luckily the sun was out and it was a beautiful day.  

This was our day.  
As we paddled out there were two leis floating there just waiting for us.  
It was pretty amazing and they smelled so good!! 

We explored the coast and found a couple of tiny little coves all to ourself.  The water was so clear, we were wishing we would have brought at least our masks.  I can't wait to take the kids there.  It's kind of funny how when we get a day to ourselves minus the kids, we spend a lot of the time talking about how the kids would have loved to be doing whatever we are doing.  We also had a lot of time to just talk and finish conversations without interruptions.  That was really nice.  

The most beautiful sunset was the icing on the cake as we hiked in the canyon.  

It was a good day.  
Love you babe!!

Monday, January 6, 2014


Something about a new year is always a little exciting...clean slate, new plans, resolutions, reflecting on the past year and all that good stuff.  I'm not a resolution type of person, but I do like to re-evaluate my life and our family life and find ways to change things that might need a little tweaking.  I have slowed way down on blogging because well, I just don't have time.  It bums me out, because this is my place to record a small part of our life...kind of like a family journal.  No big commitments for the coming year with blogging, but hey it is the 6th of January and here I am.  YEA!!

I was just telling Andy that I already feel like a new me.  Maybe just for today, haha.  I cleared out my email box to just 5 emails.  This is huge for me.  No, seriously!  Stocked up on tampons before I even started my period.  It's not funny.  I really do usually have to make that late night trip to Target.  Finished up a couple of little projects that were just hanging over my head.  Andy knows.  This is a new me.  

This past year was a huge change for our family.  We started homeschooling!!  I don't know why I couldn't bring myself to blog about it.  I think I was worried that I might fail plus I was just super busy.  I wish I would have blogged now because this has been a big part of our life for the past 4-5 months.  We have all grown and adjusted and I can honestly say I LOVE it.  It is a lot of work!!  We definitely have those bad days, but overall it has been such a good transition for our family life.  Ella loved it from the get go, but it took a while for Julian to warm up to it.  He now tells me he likes being home schooled.  I know I could not have done it without the support and encouragement from those who have walked the road before me.  We have met new friends and we have been able to spend a lot more time with my cousin Yvonne and her kiddos. She has home schooled her 3 kids for the last 5 or 6 years.  She is amazing!! She has seriously held my hand the entire way and I couldn't be more thankful.  We spend every Friday together doing science projects, art, field trips or just exploring out in nature. We are also in a group that has so many little things that has made the transition easier.  Besides getting almost a daily email of encouragement, there are school pictures, park days, and parties which are little things that I was a little bummed about the kids not having when we decided to homeschool.  Homeschooling has forced me to grow as a parent and I feel like overall I am a little more organized...yea!
I am excited to see what this new year brings.  I have been busier with photography, which is great and I love doing it, but I really need to find a good balance.  I think this year I am really going to be focusing on finding that balance for our family.  

I came across these pictures and I think they are fitting for my goals for the new year.  Sometimes it is hard to see any change or growth before your eyes until you step away and look back again.  I was making dinner and saw these clouds and had to take a picture.  I LOVE CLOUDS.  I went back to making dinner and one of the kids called me back to look again at the sky. WOW, the sky was bright orange.  Again I went back to the kitchen and I kept glancing out.  The sky looked like it was on fire.  Amazing!!  
I really want to focus on my parenting and helping my kids thrive and grow.  A lot of the time there is so much repetition and it doesn't feel like any change or progress is being made.  
I am going to be patient.

Here's to a new year!!

Monday, October 21, 2013


"a portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2013."

Ella - new teeth coming in 
Julian - still hanging on to all of his baby teeth

These guys can sure be silly

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Road Trip - part 1

We took a little road trip to try to satisfy our ever wandering hearts at the beginning of August.

An open road, fresh air and not too much of an agenda.  It was perfect. We headed up the 395 and all of our memories of the many times we traveled that highway pre-kids flooded our thoughts.  Going to snowboard at Mammoth on a whim was so easy.  We packed our bags and we didn't really care where we ended up sleeping that night.  The road was filled with music, long conversations or me reading a book aloud for both of us to enjoy.  This trip was a lot like the way we used to travel.  We didn't have any reservations anywhere, but we were free!!

We stopped at Manzanar as we once did so many years ago.  It's a part of our country and state's history.  We are always trying to expose our kids to as many learning experiences as we can.  They of course couldn't completely grasp what happened to all of those people and how life changing that must have been and I don't think I truly do either.  Julian filled out his junior park ranger booklet and wasn't leaving until he got his badge.  
I love this about him!! 
 He did the same thing when we went to Joshua Tree.   

After a few stops and a couple of phone calls along the drive, we found these tent cabins.  With a base camp set for the next couple of days we were back to exploring.

We tried a little fishing, without much luck.  Next time!

We couldn't come this far and not see Mammoth mountain.  We took the gondola to the top where there were gail force winds...almost.  Although I was freezing and ready to get back into the gondola as soon as I stepped out, it was a beautiful view and pretty amazing to see the mountain without any snow on it.  

Yikes, there are a lot of rocks under all that snow!

I will try to post more pictures from the rest of our trip later.  I'm just a little behind.

Monday, August 26, 2013


"a portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2013."

We celebrated a birthday over here last week.  I can't believe my sweet girl is 8.

Ella - As much as she has grown and changed overnight, she still wanted to go to Zoomar's where she has chosen to go every year for the last 4 years...she can't get enough of those guinea pigs, ha!
Julian - I really hope this sweet relationship between them never ends and only grows.  Giving the birthday girl an early morning birthday kiss. 

Monday, August 19, 2013


"a portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2013."

JULIAN - enjoying the camera
ELLA - enjoying the kid's garden