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

March 18, 2015

busy fun things part 2

Whew! This poor blog...its hard to keep up with it sometimes but I also feel like lately its been just be spewing what we're up to without much depth...sorry about that. I think its the season of life we're currently in, we're still "new" and are trying to figure out what our weeks look like, we're investing in new friends while trying to keep up with old friends and its a tough balance sometimes. I'm not complaining, one can never have too many friends, right?! Its just the balance of figuring out what our new life looks like while maintaining a bit of our old life that we had when we lived here nearly 7 years ago. Its also just been a busy year I think, last year was a blur and I felt like I was barely keeping my head above water, this year has been more calm but busy with fun things -like travel and making new friends and playing with old friends, investing in church, etc. Its been a busy season of life, and I'm thankful for it. Today I spent the morning talking to one of my dear friends in Waco and catching up on her life, that was good. Poor B is a bit under the weather so we had to cancel our play date today. :( Poor girl rarely gets sick so, I guess it was high time! Last night she had a fever and was lethargic and blah all day, today she has more pep in her step and her fever is gone so I'm hopeful that a day of lounging around the house will do her good. I think this weekend just wore her down, our sweet friends invited us to the beach with them for 3 days and it was lots of swimming, sun, eating, and not enough sleep...it took its toll (worth it though, of course! We all had a great time). Yesterday B and I went downtown LA with my friend Lauren to scour for fabric (Lauren needed some supplies for work and I found my long sought-after ticking stripe for a duvet for my bed! Hooray!), then we had a fabulous lunch at Bottega Louie and ate amongst the stars (Amy Smart was right in front of me -hooray for celeb spotting!). It was a fun day. Hopefully B will be up and at 'em tomorrow and we can resume spring break play dates! Such a bummer to be sick during spring break! I'm in denial that Adam has to work this week...I think we should all still be playing! :) (I know, spoiled!!). Well, I'm gonna go get some laundry done and bake some banana bread for my sickie, thanks for checking in! xo

March 10, 2015

busy fun things

Its been busy around here, my bestie Kelly was in town this weekend from Maine to throw our friend Ginger's bridal shower -fun! So, Saturday was the shower during the day and then several of us gals went out to dinner that night to celebrate our dear friend. Friday night we went to our new friends house (from our new church) for a lovely dinner. It was such a gorgeous Pasadena night and the 8 of us ate on their back patio while the kiddos played outside  -so so fun! Sunday was church and then our sweet friends just up the street came over to hang out for the afternoon, fun. :) Adam is on spring break this week but B's spring break isn't until next week...boo, always a bit of a bummer when that happens. Anyhoo, this weekend some friends invited us to go to the beach with them so that will be fun! It will feel like a mini vacation for spring break which is always nice. :) The weather has been gorgeous lately, Adam and I have been on our porch almost every night just enjoying the warm evenings, love that! Okay, my house is dirty and I have a friend coming over for lunch so I'm gonna get after it, happy Tuesday, all! xo

March 4, 2015

Good for the Soul // Cabo 2015

We're back! It was such a good week with our friends! The 8 of us did this exact trip a year and a half ago and we modified some things this go around and we think we'll have it down the next time (assuming there is a next time, fingers crossed! :) It was a lovely week of sunshine, food, friends, and lots of pool time. We felt so spoiled, we stayed at the "highest level" of the luxury villas thanks to our friends' timeshare points, this place is amazing! There are only a handful of them built so you feel so fancy staying there, a big treat for sure (and I could get used to the daily maid and pool service! :) It was so fun being with our dear friends from Waco, 2 of the 4 couples (Adam and I included) recently left Waco so we all so enjoyed being together and just soaked up each others company. Many times we were asked if we were related and it was often that one of us would say "We're friends that are like family" and its true, it was good for the soul and a life-giving trip with dear friends. 2 of our friends came back to LA with us due to a layover so we got to keep them at our house for 1 night, only wish we had more time! Then yesterday..... it was back to reality (boo). A HUGE thank you to my sweet in-laws for watching B, they are so good to us and I always come back to a clean house, I'm a blessed gal for sure!

This week is pretty low key, just trying to get back in the swing of things after a lovely week of Mexico life. Some new friends invited us to dinner on Friday night and my best friend is flying into town today from Maine so I'll see her some this weekend! Who hoo!! Today I'm getting spoiled, my friend is an esthetician and told me to come into her spa and she's giving me a facial! I can't wait, its been years since I've had one! Thanks for checking in, if you haven't checked out this engagement session head on over HERE! xo

February 22, 2015

I'm off!

It was a busy week! Lots of cooking, baking, meeting with friends (one who I hadn't seen in 7 years!- so good to catch up!), Bible study, making new friends from church, etc. Adam actually got sick this week, he had some 24 hour bug that caused him to cancel class and stay home, poor guy. Thankfully he's on the mend and B and I both avoided it! I'm sitting at LAX waiting to board my flight to Cabo!! It was SO sad leaving B this morning, I always hate saying bye to her! Poor thing cried, broke my heart. :( I'm sure once grandma and grandad arrive tomorrow all will be well with the world but, my sweet girl has a sad heart today. :( I already can't wait for Adam to join me on Wednesday! I prefer when we're together on vacation (well, and pretty much any time :). I'm excited to hug my friends tonight, it'll be a great week! The ol' blog will be quiet until March, so see you here next week! :) I blogged so head over to mollywinnphotography[dot]com/blog to check out my latest engagement session. Have a great week, everyone!! Xo

February 16, 2015

4 day weekend

This weekend was so fun! Friday B had off school so the 2 of us went with my friend Sara and her 3 kiddos to this fun trampoline place where the kiddos jumped their hearts out, we got ice cream and went to Costco to grab hot dogs before meeting up with our husbands (who both work at APU) and we all watched APU's first baseball game of the season! 3 of the 4 of us went to APU so it was fun to be on campus rooting the cougars onto victory! Saturday morning my sweet valentines cuddled in bed with me and we opened our sweet treats from each other and then I made pancakes before heading to Glendora to meet with a bride to go over her wedding timeline. Later that afternoon I decorated the table and got my "LOVE" lights turned on for our dear friends that came over. We ordered take out from our favorite Thai restaurant, my sweet friend made raspberry mojitos and we had such a fun night hanging out while the kiddos jumped in the backyard  -a great way to spend valentines day! Sunday we went to church, came home, hung out for a little bit before dropping B off at a birthday party, then Adam and I went to our pastor's house for a super fun afternoon of lunching outside with new friends. 8 of us had a great time talking and getting to know each other, there were many laughs and I look forward to more time with our new friends. We came home just in time for cousin Kyle to come over and spend the evening with us. We sat on the porch and chatted, jumped on the trampoline and had leftover Thai food for dinner. :) Good family time! It was a BUSY weekend but so so fun, the weather was AMAZING and we were just enjoying the long weekend. Today we were thinking of going to the beach but I think B decided she'd rather stick around here and go to a movie and get some lunch, so a chill day with our little family of 3 it is! The countdown is officially ON for our vacation next week! T-6 days until Cabo and we can't wait!!! I've got lots of cleaning to do before my sweet in-laws come next week, I've been too busy playing to do much of that! :) Thanks for checking in, hope everyone is enjoying a lovely holiday today! xo

February 9, 2015

annnnnnd we decided.

It was a good weekend, lots of fun. Friday our friends had us over for a yummy dinner, Saturday we had my long-time friend and her husband over for dinner, and Sunday we went to church and then our friends from orange county came up here to spend the day with us. I went to the flea market with Meg, Adam and Matt wrangled the 6 kiddos and then we all joined together had lots of fun playing at the park and jumping on our trampoline. Monday morning came too soon!

Hands down the best part about the weekend was FINALLY deciding on church. It has been a long 6 months of searching and listening to my friends thoughts/opinions/suggestions and having them listen to my frustrations/desires/hopes, etc. We decided on church #9, otherwise known as San Marino Community Church. It feels good. We've tried it the past 2 weeks and yesterday was even better than the prior week. The worship leader was back and it was hands down the best worship experience we've had since moving back here. The people were again, so welcoming and inviting and this week the pastor was a woman, which Adam and I are all about. B enjoyed Sunday school and has already made a friend and said she wanted to go there (although she wasn't so sure when we had to be "up and at 'em!"). The 9am start time is admittedly going to be hard for both of us but...its a sacrifice I'm willing to make so, there it is. I'm going to my first Bible Study with the ladies on Thursday morning and am looking forward to diving in an making new friends. When I walked out of church on Sunday I got a text from one of my mi casa darlings and it said "Why do Sundays have to be so hard? We leave church each week just kinda scratching our heads, hoping the next week will be better. Am I crazy?" I wanted to scream "No, you're not crazy!!! Starting over is crazy hard, especially after UBC!!" But, for the first time in a long time, I was hopeful. Walking out of what we had decided would be our new church home, it made me hopeful for what could come for her and her new husband. But at the same time I felt her frustration and disappointment, what we had as a group and collectively as a whole body at UBC was unlike anything I've experienced before, and its hard to get over that/let that go.

With that said, this church doesn't "tick all the boxes", and the wealth admittedly makes me a bit uncomfortable, but, I'm a firm believer that you don't go to church to be comfortable so, here we are. I'm excited for the end of a long search and hopeful for what God is going to do with us there. One step closer to feeling more at home here, after a long season of life in the in-between.

Well, you've all heard my ramblings about how I don't think B really goes to school here, and this week is no exception! She has Friday AND Monday off so, we're going to do some playing which will be fun. :) So, a short week in the Winn household! I hope everyone has a lovely Monday, thanks for reading. xo

February 2, 2015

6 months and 1 day and church #9

Yesterday marked 6 months of us moving back to California...that's weird, right? I can't tell what I think about that, if it feels long to me, or short? If that sounds like a lot or a little? If I feel like I've been out of Waco that long or not? I still miss Texas every day, to be honest, it hasn't dissipated much over the past 6 months, but in the same vein, those feelings aren't as raw either. Brennan still asks if we can move back to Waco, but when she asks its not in the desperate way it used to be, its more matter of fact with a bit of hopefulness. Moving is hard. This weekend we tried new church #9, I met a gal at a shower a few months ago and she emailed me and asked me to come try her church. I was thankful for the gracious invite, and even though it started at 9am (WAY too early!) I got my butt out of bed and we went. I'll say this, I didn't love the service, the music wasn't great (to be fair, their worship leader was on vacation so it wasn't the "normal" person leading) and there seems to be a rotation of who preaches so we heard one of a few pastors so, we got a feel but maybe not what a typical Sunday is really like. All that to say, I didn't love the service but I kinda fell in love with the people. After the service we walked outside to leave and we started talking to one of the pastors, then the gal who invited me came up and we talked for a while and she introduced me to a friend of mine's brother, then, she introduced me to one of the pastor's wives...and we hit.it.off. I already kind of love her. We stood outside talking to people for probably 45 minutes and when it was time to go, my new friend was like "Please tell me I get to see you again"  -and I felt the exact.same.way. The church is in a swanky part of town, and you can tell it has lots of wealth...that is so far from the church experience Adam and I are used to and it admittedly makes me feel a bit out of my element (I met the founder of eharmony's wife -just as a reference point!). I'm rambling now, ALL this to say, I don't know that this church is a perfect fit by any stretch, but Brennan loved it and said she would like to go there, you can tell this church really values Christian education which is right down Adam's alley, and the people seemed pretty darn great, and I'm such a people person and relationships are of the utmost importance to me, so.... this might be home. We are going to go back next week and try it again, so we'll see, I'm cautiously optimistic. :)

Weekend was good! We went to LA and got lunch at the farmer's market and B spent her money at the AG doll store on pj's for Kanani. Saturday night our sweet friends came over for dinner and I made chicken enchiladas and Martha Stewart's chocolate cheesecake for dessert for my friend's husband's bday. Sunday we went to church and then our friends came over and brought us lunch and we spent the afternoon catching up on life, and then....we watched the TRAGIC end to the super bowl. I'm sorry, I'm a big girl, I can take a loss...but TO LOOSE LIKE THAT?!!!!! UGHHHHH, it made me SO MAD!!! The game was in.the.bag.  -it was the Seahawks for the taking!!!! Sorry, clearly, I'm not quite over it. Moving on...

So, here we are, Monday morning and another week begins. I like February, I know I've said this before but the older I get I really love Valentine's day even more and I love celebrating it with B too. I got her the cutest heart necklace the other day, so fun. :) B's art class was cancelled for today so, its going to be a low key day with errands and editing for me. I hope everyone has a great week and happy birthday to B's friend Ellie! xo

Peek from last week's engagement shoot!

January 30, 2015

today/this weekend

After the craziness that was my life last year, especially last semester I vowed to be better at "showing up" at B's school this semester. I feel like I was barely hanging on last fall and couldn't do a darn thing as far as school stuff was concerned and I felt kinda guilty about it. So, today, I'm volunteering at B's school! School stuff isn't really my bag per se, but...I'm doing it. I'm also baking a yummy chocolate cheesecake today, our friends are coming for dinner tomorrow and it was my friend's husband's birthday this week and he's a cheesecake guy so...there you have it! B has been asking constantly if we can go to the AG doll store, she's been saving her money and wants to buy a pair of pjs for her doll so I think the 3 of us are going to make the trek to the Grove tomorrow for a fun outing before our company comes over. We're trying new church #9 this weekend, a gal invited s to give her church a whirl so...fingers crossed?! I would just love to have that feeling of "THIS is it!"

That's pretty much the haps around here, nothing too exciting, just every day life. :) I finally blogged a mini session from Waco over HERE so check out this cute fam! xo

January 28, 2015

fast January

Typically January crawls by for me, but not this year! Its crazy to me that we'll be in February this weekend! This weekend was super busy but good! We had a lot of fun out in Riverside with family and having our friends in town (even though it went by quickly) was so fun! Our friends (from Oregon) needed to be picked up in Redondo Beach, so rather than just drive out there and pick them up and come back home the 3 of us made a day of it. We decided to skip out on the church hunt and go to the beach...it was lovely. It was so nice to be on the beach, with no agenda and to watch B play in the ocean and build sand castles, it was life-giving. It was such a nice reprieve from church shopping that all 3 of us desperately needed. Mondays and Tuesdays are busy with driving/B's art classes but she's really enjoying them so that's great. We stopped by our old neighborhood (where we lived for a month when we first got here) and visited with Laura and Barb in between school/B's class, so fun to see them. Today I actually have to work...what?!! I have an engagement shoot today, I haven't "worked" in so long I can't tell if I'm nervous or excited? I think I still know how to use my camera...? Fingers crossed!

I've been trying lots of new recipes lately, last week I made a blackened chicken with avocado cream sauce..it had a kick! Last night I made this risotto with caprese chicken, it was really good! And the lemon bar cheesecake from last week was a hit! (truth be told...I don't think the water for my pasta ever got quite hot enough and the noodles were a bit too al dente...such a bummer for my company dinner!!). :/

All in all we're doing pretty well over here, we've almost been here 6 months and I would say we're definitely still adjusting but we're good. B wrote in her journal and let us read it and it was really really sweet, she was saying how "we live in a one story house and its great" and how she's "made good friends and likes it here." She still asks to go back to Waco of course but its so nice reading that she's adjusting and that she does like it here even though its not Texas, good for this mama's heart. :) Thanks for reading. xo

January 23, 2015

nothing in particular

Yesterday I spent the morning cleaning my house and doing laundry, and then a friend came over. This sweet gal has always been more of a "friend of a friend" and our time together has been limited but we've kept in touch through social media and I've always enjoyed her. Well, yesterday we got some quality one on one time and it was just good for the soul. We resonated with each other on certain things about this stage of life was that just...good. We're in different stages of life as far as child rearing, etc. but we had some really great common ground and I walked away from our time together feeling encouraged and wanting more! I hope we get to hang out again soon. :) My long-time dear friend, Chrissy was supposed to drive up from orange county today to hang out but poor thing got sick. :( Boo!! I was so looking forward to seeing her!! Adam and I are going to use this time to go on a date...a good back up option. :) Tonight my sweet realtor and her husband are coming to dinner, she hosted us a while back and it was a FEAST. I'm in no way attempting to compete with her fabulousness but it will still be tasty I think. :) Since I'm still working my way through the bowl of lemons from my friend's tree, I made this lemon bar cheesecake. I've only made it once before and it is SO good, its just a lot of work and needs to be done over several days to allow enough time for things to chill so its a rarity in my kitchen. I'm excited to dig into that tonight!! I'm also making Martha Stewart's pasta with 5 cheeses (so easy and so yummy), I made homemade croutons for a caesar salad and will try a from-scratch dressing, garlic bread, and these stuffed mushrooms for an appetizer. Fingers crossed! Tomorrow we're heading to Riverside to hang out with cousin Caila and her sweet fam, can't wait to see her cute house they recently moved into -she has great style! It will be good for B to get some good cousin time and to get out of Pasadena for an afternoon, a change of scenery is always good! :) Sunday our friends Brian and Lindsay from Oregon are coming into town and spending the night in the guest house- can't wait to see them! Its going to be a busy weekend around here, but so fun! I hope everyone had a lovely week, and has a great weekend! xo