May 12, 2015

Mother's Day 2015 and other things

Mother's day was really really lovely. As previously mentioned the weather around here hasn't been too great, but the sun came out on Sunday and it was so nice! All 3 of us went to the Rose bowl flea market (which is one of my very favorite things), then we came home and laid outside on the grass for a while. Then we showered and did a little shopping in Old Town before having HUGE burgers at Slaters 50/50 for lunch. We did a little more shopping on the way to the car and then came home and sat on the porch and then later Adam and I watched one of our favorite shows. All in all, a great mothers day with my 2 favorites. :) Hope all you mamas out there had a great one, too!

This week has been pretty chill, tonight one of our friends from high sierra is coming to spend the night at our house -it will be good to see him. Then tomorrow we'll get the house cleaned and ready for momsie to come on Thursday! Brennan has been asking how much longer until Thursday (she's pretty excited to see grandma). I got a letter in the mail that B is getting an award at school on Friday so it will be fun to have mom in town to get to see her accept it! They mentioned it would be a good idea to keep it a secret so I haven't told B. :) So proud of my girl!

Our friends and Adam and I are officially on our "cruise countdown" -can't wait for vacation with some of our besties!! Its been a weird/odd/tough year, looking forward to a break from real life. :) Happy Tuesday, all! xo

PS Check out my blog over here and check out this cute senior!

May 7, 2015

rough couple weeks

Its been gloomy and ick here in southern California the past week, I'm ready for the sunshine to come back out and to resume evenings on my porch with Adam and B. :) I feel like the weather has also been indicative of how the past couple weeks have been, gloomy and ick. I don't want this blog to be my venting place (well, today anyway :) so I'll just say its lame when adults don't act like adults and don't take ownership of their mistakes. I'll just leave it at that.

Anyhoo..........momsie comes a week from today (who hoo!) and I've got some little projects that have been hanging over my head that I want to work on before she gets here. B gets out of school at 11:30am today (does any one else notice a theme of my kid NEVER being in school?!) so I'm off to get her shortly. Thankfully Adam's sickness is on the mend (he's had a nasty cold all week) and the sun is supposed to come back soon, hopefully a new day is coming! :) Thanks for checking in! xo

May 1, 2015

Check out my blog...

I just posted my sweet friends and their baby girl! Check it out HERE. xo

April 29, 2015

Vegas, Baby

This past weekend was busy but super fun! The 3 of us drove to Las Vegas and got there Friday night. We met up with cousin Mike and went out to dinner, then we went on "The World's Largest Observation Wheel," saw some great views (a bit too high for B as it turns out), walked around the strip (which in hindsight...maybe not the best place for an 8 year old at 11pm on a Friday night? :/), tried to see some of the Bellagio fountain action and got cupcakes, fun! Saturday Mike and I were on a mission, we had a list of interior design stuff to tackle and we Whew! It was a long day of going to MANY shops and checking things off our list, all in in all we did pretty well! Not everything got accomplished but we made great progress so that was good! We came home, changed our clothes and met B and Adam for a nice dinner. After dinner Adam and B headed back to Mike's and Mike and I hit up the casinos and made our way to see B R I T N E Y S P E A R S!! Anyone who knows me at all knows this has been on my to-do list for YEARS so it was highly anticipated and it did not disappoint! She was fab, just like I expected. :) I slept in on Sunday and then the 4 of us got a good Mexican lunch, came back to Mike's and I put the chairs in order for the outdoor fire pit area we created and then it was time to head home. It went too fast but we had a great time. I told Adam (as we were sitting in horrendous traffic) "We should've stayed one more day." Next time! Adam is wrapping up his first full year at APU this week (which is so crazy to me! Where did the time go?!) and B is starting the countdown to summer. We've got a busy weekend ahead with dinner plans, birthday party, APU graduation (for Adam), family coming over on Sunday for a BBQ, etc. May is about to be in full swing! I hope everyone has a great week, as always, thanks for checking in! xo

April 24, 2015

I'm gonna blink and it will be August

I'm looking at the calendar and getting that "how is it August already?" feeling. Almost every weekend is spoken for between now and August...what?! Its such a nutty time of year!! May is going to be a lot of fun, just really busy. I'm looking forward to momsie being in town and Doug and Kemi, and our cruise, family camp, its just going to all fly by! I just officially booked our plane tickets for Texas in June, I'm shooting a wedding which is the catalyst for the trip but we're turning it into a vacation and are going to see friends and just be in Waco for a week, can't wait. Today is laundry and packing for the weekend, I'm taking B out of school and bit early and am then swinging by APU to pick up Adam and we're off to Vegas for the weekend to see cousin Mike! (it was a lot more convenient when he lived in Orange county!!) I'm going to help him decorate his home and make it cozy, it will be fun. :) I hope everyone has a great weekend!! xo

April 20, 2015

baby shower brunch

This weekend was nice and chill, just what we all needed after a hectic week. I had booked a sitter weeks ago in an effort to take Adam on an surprise date but our sitter called last minute and said she had strep so had to cancel. It ended up becoming a family date and we went to the movies and out to dinner instead, fun. :) I think this week will be the calm before the crazy, May is NUTS for us! We are booked solid in May with family coming into town, church family camp, a long-awaited cruise Adam and I have been planning for years, etc. This weekend we're headed to Las Vegas to visit cousin Mike and Mike is taking me on our annual BRITNEY SPEARS!! That's right ya'll, don't be too jealous! :) I can't wait!!! So this week is lots of work for me and Adam wrapping up his semester at APU, we both can't believe we've almost finished our first academic year here, that Time is so weird the older you get, it really does seem to fly by. Speaking of flying by, I feel like it was 2 seconds ago that my friend Emily told me she was pregnant and now we're only days away from her baby coming!! So crazy! I hosted a little baby shower brunch for her about a week-ish ago, here are some photos of the sweet time we had. Happy Monday, all! xo



April 17, 2015

2 days in Waco feels like 2 seconds + Yvonne

This was a crazy-fast week. I flew to Waco early Monday morning and got back later afternoon yesterday. The purpose of the trip was to meet/photograph my sweet friend's new baby that many of us have prayed long and hard for. While I was in Texas I had 4 shoots, a meeting with a bride and a handful of lunches/dinners/coffees where I got short visits with dear friends. Two days was of course not near long enough to see all of my favorite people and I hate feeling so rushed but its always good for my soul to be back in the 254. For some reason, it was especially hard to leave Waco this time, this was my third trip since we moved and I already know I'll be back there in 8 weeks but still, it was hard getting on that plane (I mean, of course I couldn't wait to love on A and B) but I had an ache in my heart as I took off. Texas still feels like my home, and California still doesn't, one day at a time. {Sidenote: THANK YOU to those of you who prayed about the weather, the thunderstorms kept getting pushed back and the 2 days I was in Waco were GREAT, great for shooting, great for eating outside, just GREAT so thank you!!}

When I was getting on my plane to head home I got the sad news that my aunt had passed away from complications due to alzheimer's. It's always hard loosing someone but alzheimer's is so cruel, and the person we know and love slowly disappears over time so its like someone else is leaving, but there is a void all the same. Its like a slow death as you watch them morph into someone completely different and it makes the final death feel like they are finally at peace and "themselves" again. My aunt was always sweet to me, she was always so happy and smiley even though her health has always been an unfair dealt hand. I will remember her that way, happy, with a smile on her face making jokes about how she can eat like a horse (and she could!) though she was always so thin! Today I will picture her running with Jesus and being freed from all her health maladies and truly being at peace. So thankful this earthly end is not the end, but just the beginning of real wholeness and real joy. xo

Here's another new beginning that is God's faithfulness....

April 10, 2015

playing "realtor" today

Its been a good week! I feel like I've gotten a lot done which is always nice! We had Adam's students over Tuesday night, that was a lot of fun, I haven't cooked dinner for college kids in a long time...felt good. As much as it felt "right" to have my house full of students I'd be lying if I said it didn't bring an ache to my heart, those kids weren't "mine" and it made me miss mine all the more. :( I posted a photo of my full kitchen on instagram and several of my kiddos made comments like "imposters!" and "I'm jealous right now" or "wish it was me" and all I could think was "me too." I don't think my heart is ready to dive back into youth ministry just yet...I think I need more time, which is good to know. *(people ask me regularly if I'm doing that so...there you have it)

Today I get to play realtor! Most people that know me personally know I stalk real estate, I have for years, its definitely a passion of mine and yet, I really have no desire to be a realtor -too much pressure/stress! (esp in southern CA where things sell in 1 day for at least $75K over asking most of the time!). Anyhoo, my realtor has an inspection today for a client and has another meeting she has to get to so she's paying me to stand in her place for a few hours! So, I'll get a taste of realtor life today, sounds kinda fun, :) I'm hosting a small baby shower brunch at my house tomorrow morning for a dear friend who is getting ready to welcome a baby girl so I've got lots to do today to get ready! (I was planning on spending my day doing just that until my realtor called so now....I really gotta bust it!). I head out to Waco on Monday so have lots on my mind, if you're of the praying kind I'd welcome your prayers for keeps showing thunder storms when I'm there which, clearly, doesn't work so well for photos!! Today it looked more promising and in Texas the weather can change by the minute so....fingers crossed! Thanks for checking in, all!! xo

** I just blogged my first CA wedding, check it out HERE!**

April 7, 2015

Full House

Adam invited a small class of his over for dinner tonight, it will be fun to have our house full of college students again...although, I must admit, just thinking about it makes me long for my students. I've made 2 kinds of cornbread, a jalapeno cheese and a plain, and then I'll make my chili that feeds the masses. It hardly ever rains in southern California and its supposed to rain tonight -boo! Our house is so much more "fun" when the sliding doors are open and the light is pouring in and we can be on the porch and in the kitchen. Tonight is the only time its suppose to rain for the foreseeable future, boooo (although, we desperately need it so I know I shouldn't complain). This morning I got up early and met my friend for breakfast, we celebrated her birthday and caught up on life -so good to see her. Its amazing how her living 30 minutes down the freeway makes it so hard to see each other. Life is busy. Well, I've got just a little time to edit before I need to start the chili and then need to pick B up from school so I'm gonna get after it. Happy Tuesday! xo

April 6, 2015

Easter Weeekend

I hope everyone had a great Easter weekend! We sure did! Adam had Friday off work so we went on a date, out to a movie and to a yummy lunch (public service announcement: if you go to the Cheesecake Factory any time in the near future try the lemon meringue Came home, then I went to my friend's house and she helped me make sugar cookies for Easter, and then we went over to some of our new church friends place for dinner, it was fun for the kiddos to play and the adults got to eat a YUMMY dinner outside on their lovely patio -so fun! Saturday I made Joy the Baker's lemon blueberry pie and her chocolate brownie pie (for Easter), then we went to Home Depot and purchased a shed for our backyard (so we can FINALLY get the guest house up and running!). After all that we used the Easter Bunny's money eggs (thanks mom!) to go on a family date! We saw Cinderella and went to this Italian restaurant that we hadn't been to before. Sunday was Easter! Christ is risen, indeed! We went to church, then came home and grabbed the food and drove out to Riverside to spend the day with our cousins/aunt/unlces and celebrate our risen King ~ it was a pretty great day! As always Monday came too soon and I've got my work cut out for me today (since I haven't done any since Thursday! :/) ~ have a lovely day, all! xo

March 30, 2015

I feel like a slug

This weekend was fun, I did a lot of eating so I'm feeling very sluggish today. :/ Friday night I made Ina's roasted chicken and veggies and Joy the Baker's chocolate peanut butter pretzel layer cake for our friends that came over. Saturday B and I had a lazy morning while Adam had to go to a workshop at school, then he came home and the three of us drove to Santa Monica and walked around third street, the pier, went to a movie and went out to dinner. It was a lovely family date and we all came home tired and happy. Sunday we got up early (grrr) and went to church, some friends asked us to go out to lunch with them so we went to Wahoo's Fish Tacos (I'm the only one who actually got a fish taco -yum) and then we came home and it was such a gorgeous day so Adam and I hung out on our front porch and just relaxed. Around 5:30pm we headed to South Pasadena to meet cousin Kyle for dinner, he treated us to YUMMY BBQ at Gus' (he's been telling us how good it is for ages and he was right! SO good!). Kyle has a new girlfriend so it was fun to meet her briefly before she had to get going...ah young love. :) Then we got home, put B to bed and Adam was off to "man night" with some church guys. A busy weekend but so so fun. Monday came too soon as always but I've got lots of work to do so I'm gonna get after it. Hope everyone had a great weekend, thanks for reading! xo

March 26, 2015

Mundane Faithfulness

I didn't know Kara Tippetts but I wish I did. I started reading her blog recently and was so moved by her words of grace and encouragement in the midst of her dying of cancer. You can tell she was a person that everyone wanted to know -clearly magnetic in her personality and full of Jesus' love to whomever she encountered. I just read this morning that she passed away a few days ago, I knew it was coming but I thought she would have more time, it kinda feels like a punch in the gut, I wasn't expecting to see that news when I went to her blog today. My take-away from Kara the past 2 months or so that I've been reading her blog is to not sweat the small stuff, to not waste this precious life harboring resentment and anger, to move on from past hurts and embrace life and the beauty that it is. This season of life has me more introspective than usual, being uprooted when you're close to 40 will do that to you, I guess. I want to live out my church's (in Texas) benediction of: loving God, embracing beauty, and living life to the fullest -I don't want to just say it. Kara was 1 year older than me, that's it -this could just as easily be my story and although I pray its not, if it is I want to know that I lived life intentionally while evidently loving Jesus and others well. Thank you Kara for your example to me and so many others, run with Jesus. xo

(You can read Kara's blog here: mundanefaithfulness[dot]com)

March 25, 2015

An Unexpected Tuesday

I think life hasn't really felt "real" to me for a while now. This whole move has felt kinda surreal, and since Adam and I were working SO much in Waco and our lives look so different here (in that regard) I don't think its felt entirely real or normal to me yet. Also, going on vacation in February kinda threw me off, and then going to the beach with friends shortly thereafter also just felt like a fairytale and not real life. Then B had spring break so it was another week of not-normal so now that she is back to school, its just still doesn't feel like "life as usual" to me yet. So, all that to say, yesterday I picked up some donuts before getting B from school (b/c she asked if we could go to the park after school) and we went and played. I texted my friend to see what she was up to and before I knew it, we were at her house playing and chatting the day away. She has a lovely big yard and the kiddos seem to be in the land of nod back there and play outside happily for hours -its lovely. Her husband came home from work early so the 3 of us hung out and talked while the kids were playing and then when Adam got home from work he texted to see what our plan was for dinner and our friends said "have him come over here and we'll order pizza!" So, that's what we did! It was so fun to be spontaneous on a school night and just choose to enjoy our time, throw bedtimes and homework out the window and just play. I really think these are the moments that life is really about, homework can wait, being tired the next day -you can rebound from that, being intentional and doing life with people -that's the good stuff. We haven't known these new friends long but we feel like we have, we just get each other and have such a good time hanging out and I loved that we made a memory last night versus rushing home to do homework and get to bed on time. I hope these are the memories that B will tell her kids about and that she will choose to do life with people and throw caution to the wind every now and again.  I want her to grow up investing in people, I know that is where my treasure is, in the relationships I have made and am making, all the other stuff passes away but people are what matters and this life journey is meant to be lived in community. Amen. :) xo

March 24, 2015

everything hurts

This weekend was really good! We hosted a dinner party on Friday night and that was a lot of fun, we're really enjoying getting to know our new friends better and we're so thankful for them! Saturday I purposefully didn't plan anything, I wanted a day to just chill and get my thoughts together for my wedding on Sunday. Adam took B to a museum for this dead sea scrolls exhibit that he heard about thru APU so I had the house to myself a bit. I cleaned my lenses, charged my batteries, packed my shoot sack, etc. Then Adam and B came home and we all hung out for a bit and then our friends called and said "Come over as soon as you can and join us for dinner!" So, we did! Our weekends are so nuts (for months in advance!) so I knew this opportunity likely wouldn't work out if we didn't take advantage of it right then. I'm SO glad we did, we don't see these dear friends often enough and it was so nice to be in their home and eat yummy food and just catch up on life. I woke up early on Sunday and was gone all day shooting a lovely wedding. When I left the venue that evening I could barely walk to my car -every.thing. hurt (and still does!). Its no secret I'm SO out of shape, but man! I haven't stood on my feet for over 8 hours in a while, and my neck was radiating pain all the way down my arm from my bag full of gear hanging on me all day. My wrist was hurting from holding my camera and I just felt like an old lady! Shooting weddings is no joke! The venue was also pretty vast and my timeline was blown with late arrivals, etc so I was r.u.n.n.i.n.g. from one place to the next (with said gear) which made for very sore legs the next day(s). I'm getting old!!! :(

In other GREAT news, our dear friends who have been waiting and longing for a baby welcomed their baby girl yesterday!!! We've been praying with B for this little one to arrive every.night. for over a year and we're all so excited!!! We went out to dinner and celebrated last night! B asked "are we still going to pray for her every night?" Sweet girl. Welcome to the world, Josephine!!! Which also means that I get to go to Waco next month to photograph this sweetpea!!! Can't wait! Its a quick trip but I'm already looking forward to being back in the 254 with some dear friends. :) So fun to see prayers answered through the eyes of a child, when we started praying for this baby my friend wasn't even pregnant yet, such a neat, tangible way for B to see how God does hear us and answers our prayers. Pretty cool.

Well, I've got my work cut out for me as far as culling and editing the next few weeks so I'm gonna get after it! Here is a peek from the wedding this weekend! Happy Tuesday, all! xo

March 20, 2015

I think she's made the turn...

Poor B, she's been sick almost her whole spring break! I'm glad we made it to the beach this weekend b/c poor girl has been sick since we got home. :( Her fever has been gone since yesterday afternoon and when I woke up today she was crafting in her room...all good signs of recovery for the goose. :) She is so rarely sick, but it really takes her down when it hits! Tonight we're having a dinner party with our new church friends, sooo looking forward to that! I'm making this yummy baked risotto with caprese chicken and Ina Garten's eton mess for dessert -hope it all turns out! So, today its laundry, cleaning and cooking for me! This weekend I'm shooting my first California wedding...I'll take your prayers, I'm admittedly a bit nervous as its been a while since I've shot a wedding and I feel a tad out of my groove...I'm hoping its like riding a bike! :) Hope you all have a lovely weekend and do something fun and relaxing!! xoxo