December 15, 2014

All I want for Christmas....

Is to buy last minute plane tickets to Waco to surprise our sweet friends and watch B get reunited with her besties! Adam and I spontaneously bought tickets to Texas this week and we flew in yesterday afternoon and showed up at our friend's Christmas party to surprise our friends, who really, are family. It went JUST as I had hoped and it was the best money we could have spent! Watching B and her friends run into each other's arms was the best gift I could have received. The blog will be quiet this week as we are soaking up every minute with precious friends in our favorite place. Merry Christmas to us!! Xo

(I'll add the video that was taken when B saw her friends as soon as I can, it's priceless!)

December 9, 2014

busy Monday

Yesterday was a busy one! B gets out early on Mondays (grrr) so picked her up, then we had some of our favorite friends over for a play date, then off to gymnastics, I ran a couple errands while B was at gym, then picked her up, stopped by the grocery store to get some things for Adam's cousin's birthday dinner, came home, did homework with B and addressed Christmas cards, then Kyle came over and we grilled burgers and made milkshakes (per the birthday boy's request) and watched the Clippers win with a 3 pointer at the buzzer! Happy 31st birthday, Kyle! Whew! It was a full day! Oh, and I finished painting the garage bathroom in the morning, so glad that's done! Things are coming together around here but there are still projects to get done and one of my kitchen drawers broke yesterday! Grrr. I haven't really started my Christmas shopping yet so, I've got some things to work on. I just blogged another Waco mini session of some dear friends of mine, check it out here! xo

December 4, 2014

Christmas season/rain/etc.

I find that each year its hard for me to get my rear-in-gear and get my Christmas stuff out. I like having the house decorated and festive but the actual doing it bit is tough for me. This year is no exception. Once our bathroom in the guest house is done (and some dry wall patching/painting) we can put our furniture where it goes and actually put away the boxes that are still strewn about and maybe know where things actually are! I can.not.wait for that. I brought in about half of my ornaments, most of my decorations are still in the garage and it was all I could do to get the tree looking decent yesterday. Its been POURING buckets the last 2 days so that hasn't helped my lack of enthusiasm, esp since I have to walk outside to get to the garage to get said Christmas items. :/ Also, due to the lovely downpour that we so desperately needed, the pilot light in our water heater went out (its not insulated very well) so it was a cold shower for Adam yesterday (when we realized that it happened) and no shower for me. Our contractor got it up and running again but of course, it went out again last night. So, no shower for Adam today and I heated up hot water on the stove and poured it over myself in the shower so I wouldn't have to go 2 days without bathing! Ugh!! Thankfully the rain has stopped so once it gets lit again today it should stay on. Ay yi yi.

I can't believe Christmas is 3 weeks from today! It comes faster and faster each year I think. I haven't purchased hardly a thing BUT Aunt Karen is coming out today to have a "play day" with me so hopefully I can knock some things off my list! I haven't had time with Aunt Karen in years and am so looking forward to having her all to myself today! Lucky me!

Well, the bathroom tile is getting laid today for the floors and the sink and toilet will go back in tomorrow! Its coming together out there in the ol' guest house, which means...back to painting for me (BOOO!!). My plan is to just paint the bathroom and then try and color match the paint in the rest of the house for the places where they replaced the drywall (sure would have been nice for the previous owners to leave the paint cans behind!). Always something...the joys of home ownership I guess.

Well, that's the news around here today, thanks for checking in! xo

December 2, 2014

December 1, 2014

Good Thanksgiving weekend!

Monday already?! We had a great week off last week, so cozy! B and I stayed pretty busy while Adam was gone, lots of play dates! Adam got home late Tuesday afternoon and we pretty much went straight to the grocery store to get all the fixins for T-Day. Wednesday B went to a friend's house and I cooked/baked and Adam and I had a cozy day at home and then later in the afternoon we picked up B and went out to a nice dinner and the 3 of us had a little date. Thursday cousin Mike came over and we ate and watched football, lots to be thankful for. :) Since Mike doesn't typically live where we live he comes for the weekend, well, since he is now an hour away he went home but said he would come back each day so our tradition was still in tact (I'm hopeful next year he'll stay in the guest house :). So, Mike was also here all day Friday and Saturday -we loved it! We all went out to the movies/dinner on Friday, that was fun, and then Saturday Adam's cousin Caila and her family came into town, I did a mini session with them, then they all came over to play/have dinner with us! So fun! Adam's cousin Kyle also joined in the festivities so it was fun to have a full house with lots of family, good times. It was sad watching Adam take B to school today, I loved all of us being home together and just relaxing after a crazy season. I'm already looking forward to Adam's last day of class and having another break just around the corner!

Last night we went out (in the pouring rain) and got our Christmas tree! Now I need to dig through the garage and find all my Christmas d├ęcor stuff. Speaking of the garage/guest house, we're starting the work on the bathroom this week! Can't wait! We (my contractor) are installing new tile floors, a new toilet, and a new sink! I'm hopeful my sweet father-in-law will install a new shower some time next year but for now, we need the necessities covered so that space is actually functional  -can't wait! We are doing this project with a TINY budget so I'm not super excited about what I picked per se, function won out over style but it will be new and clean and look pretty good so I'm excited! COME ON OVER VISITORS!!!

That's pretty much what we've been up to around here, its been busy but good-busy! Today I've got a mini session to edit and a lunch date with a friend, not a bad Monday. :) Hope everyone has a great week! xo

Here's a peek from the ninner's bday shoot!

November 21, 2014

B's Mustache Bash

My sweet girl turned 8 on November 2nd! For her party this year she wanted a "mustache party" which lovingly became "the mustache bash." We had a sweet group of girls over to celebrate, here is a glimpse of her special day. xo

(ignore the vertical blinds over by the couch, they are gone now :)


November 20, 2014

and they just drove off....

Whaaaaaaaaaa. Doug and Kemi were here for a day and a half and they just left to head home. Its always so quiet when company leaves. :( Doug spent yesterday putting up B's birthday/Christmas gift of a new trampoline, its HUGE. I had no idea just how big it was and well...lets just say we can ALL jump together if we want to! Yikes! I hope it provides years and years of enjoyment for MANY to come!

This week was my first "not crazy" week, its been busy but I can feel the calm and normal that is coming, even in the midst of the holiday season. I'm still adjusting and settling into life here, but with each day I feel a little more like myself. Tomorrow Adam heads to his yearly conference for 5 days, B and I always miss him like crazy and this year with grandma and granddad just leaving, its going to feel especially quiet. I'm trying to arrange some play dates, mom/B dates to keep us busy. I'm sure there will be lots of jumping too. :)

I made my grocery list for Thanksgiving, I'm halving some things this year and skipping mashed potatoes (I always just have way too many, time to pare it down). We're looking forward to having cousin Mike join us for the 4th (?) year in a row! Its always a fun, low key day.

That's pretty much the haps over here, still working on a couple house projects and doing some shooting here and there, just finding our new normal here in California. I just blogged another Waco mini session so head on over HERE to check out these cuties! xo

November 17, 2014

busy weekend

Whew! This weekend went too fast! Friday night Adam and a friend played in a poker tournament for charity so my friend Sara and I dropped our kids at our old (well my old, her current) church for parents night out and we went out to a lovely kid-free dinner! Saturday we drove out to Moreno Valley (a drive we used to do often but its been years since we've lived here and gone out to visit the aunts/uncles!) and had a lovely day of cousin time, and chatting and catching up with sweet family. Then we came home, I raced to the store to grab a few things, came home, and did some cooking before racing over to my friend's house to help host a shower for my dear friend Tracy. It was a couples shower in my friend's lovely home, full of sweet people celebrating God's miracle of a baby my friend prayed 10 years for. We got home around 1am, and then got up and went to our old church on Sunday morning (this is church #5 that we have tried, and we STILL don't know where we'll land). Then the 3 of us went to Montrose to have some lunch before coming home and napping and cleaning. Monday morning came too fast! Today I'm catching up on some work, doing some more cleaning to get ready for Doug and Kemi to come tomorrow (yay!), and going to the grocery store before taking B to gymnastics. I hope you all had a lovely weekend, thanks for reading! Now head on over HERE to see a sweet family that I adore! xo

November 14, 2014

November 13, 2014

behind on blogging

I've been a bad blogger...I'm SO behind on my professional blog BUT I did get a post up recently of a sweet newborn. Head on over HERE and check it out! xo

November 12, 2014

B on Halloween 2014

Better late than never, right? Here is our little gymnast on Halloween! xo


November 10, 2014

an intense season and 37

Lately when people ask "How are you?" I feel like I take a deep breath and say "I'm okay!" I try to sound a bit optimistic while being honest and also not wanting to go into a big ol' novel about all that's been going on if they were just asking to be polite and not if they don't have time to really hear. To wrap up these past several months the word that comes to mind is "intense." It has been non-stop from the moment we landed in California and the few months prior to that were pretty intense as well. Lots of travel this summer, lots of shooting, packing up a house and moving across the country, etc. Since August 1st its just been a whirlwind of moving, painting, house projects, birthdays, etc. and survival mode is how we've been living. I've said for a while now that "once mid November comes things will change" and I believe that. I think we have 1 more week of intensity and I think we'll slowly see the tides turning in our house...and I can't wait. I'm SO past ready to feel normal again, and to not feel like each day I'm running around like a chicken with my head cut off just trying to make it until I lay down in my bed each night. Sigh. I'm ready for a breather. We all have seasons of life that are harder/more intense than others and we're just in the midst of one of "those" seasons of life right now. I feel like God has been working on my heart a lot in this time of my life and I'm trying to grow and be receptive to the changes he wants to make in me. I know at the beginning of this year I said I wanted to be more gracious, and I feel like the Lord is putting me in positions where I have that opportunity -and its hard. I keep having this inner dialogue in my mind about what I can do to be "better." I want to be a peacemaker, I want to put others needs before my own, I want to forgive when I've been wronged and move on and not be a grudge holder. I just want to be better, not because I'm so great but because I think its what God desires for me as a follower of his. Some tough life lessons I'm learning these days, but I think in the long run it will be good, life- giving growth.

I turned 37 yesterday...that sounds awfully close to 40 to me! (I still feel 27....that's normal, right?). It was a good day, very chill but good. I woke up to lovely cards from my family, made this Martha Stewart chocolate peanut butter cheesecake, went to church (where Adam and I realized we might not be totally ready to commit ...ay yi yi), went out to lunch, came home, took a nap, played a game with my little family, made some baked brie, and had a few of my nearest and dearest friends over for some cheese, wine and cheesecake. It was low key and a nice way to ring in year 37. I had so many lovely friends and family members email me, facebook me, text me, call me, etc. to wish me a happy birthday -it was such a sweet reminder of how blessed I truly am to have such special people in my life. I'm a blessed gal.

Well, thanks for enduring my ramblings...I feel like there's a lot going on in my head these days. I have loads of work to do this week but....calmer days are ahead and hopefully I can get caught up on photos of B, the house, etc.. As always, thanks for checking in. xo

November 6, 2014

Winns in D-land #Bturns8

Once we found out we were moving back to southern California one of the things we said to help entice Brennan about the move was taking her to Disneyland. Well, her bday came at a great time to make that happen so yesterday we pulled her out of school and took her to the "happiest place on earth!" Its no secret for those who know me that D-land is um....not my favorite place. I'm not a fan of rides - the older I get I get so nauseous! I'm not a fan of long lines, standing in the heat, battling the crowds, paying a lot of $ for bad food, etc. I'm just not a fan -there I said it! (I know, I must be a terrible person to not like Disneyland!). Well, yesterday really was the best experience I've had there (and I've been a lot since I went to college not too far away) so that's saying something! The longest line we waited in was probably 20 minutes, we walked onto several rides with no line, it was warm for a couple hours in mid-afternoon but otherwise the heat really wasn't an issue, and well, the food still sucked but hey, its one day. So, all in all a success! And obviously what really matters, B had a great time. She said "best birthday EVER!" so that made me happy. :) We rode every ride (that wasn't closed) except for 3 -that's pretty good for 1 day! I rode most of them, there were a handful I passed on but I thought that was pretty good for me too! :) The 3 of us had a nice time being together and I'm thankful for the memories. Here are a couple iPhone pics from our time. Happy Thursday, all! xo

November 4, 2014

an oldie but a goodie

Today is a rough one for me, I've had this song by Crystal Lewis on repeat. Its an old song but so good. Thought someone else out there might need this reminder today. xo

He gives beauty for ashes
Strength for fear
Gladness for mourning
Peace for despair

When sorrow seems to surround you
When suffering hangs heavy oer your head
Know that tomorrow brings
Wholeness and healing
God knows your need
Just believe what He said

He gives beauty for ashes
Strength for fearGladness for mourning
Peace for despair

When what youve done keeps you from moving on
When fear wants to make itself at home in your heart

Know that forgiveness brings
Wholeness and healing
God knows your need
Just believe what He said

He gives beauty for ashes
Strength for fear Gladness for mourning
Peace for despair

I once was lost but God has found me
Though I was bound Ive been set free
Ive been made righteous in His sight
A display of His splendor all can see

He gives beauty for ashes
Strength for fear Gladness for mourning
Peace for despair

November 2, 2014

Brennan Grace turns 8

My sweet girl, today you turn 8! Part of me can't believe it but part of me thinks you look 8, you sound 8, and I've thrown lots of parties so that makes sense! :) But wow...8. Brennan, you are funny -you have a great sense of humor and sometimes your snarkiness is so well timed I forget that you're only in 2nd grade. You are sooo picky about food....still. You pretty much don't like any lunch foods so each day when your lunch gets packed we're crossing our fingers you'll eat it. You love caesar salads and jimmy johns sandwiches (but you won't eat a home-made sandwich...grrr). You still pretty much hate shoes so footwear continues to be a hehem...challenge. This big move has been hard for you but you've been such a trooper! You mention Waco almost daily and tell me how much you miss it but you've made some friends here and I can tell you're starting to feel like yourself again. Its been hard for me to watch, this whole move/transition, I want to take away your homesickness and make everything okay but I can't. I'm so thankful you are strong and resilient and that you are finding your way. You are sweet as can be. Any time you've been at a friends house, or at church, etc. everyone always tells me how sweet you are -and its so true. You have a quiet and gentle spirit but once you "get going" you come out of your shell and you shine. I have never seen you be mean to any one and you always try and include others and I love that about you and it makes me so proud to be your mom. I could go on and on but I'll end with how much I love you and how I'm so thankful the Lord made you mine. I love you, B. xo

October 29, 2014

38 8 37

And...... breathe. I'm back from Texas, it was good. I kept telling people that I wasn't sure emotionally/mentally/spiritually it was good for me to be back so soon but that I couldn't pass up the gig I was flown out for, and really, it was just good to be there. Even though it was hard to leave, it didn't kill me and I'm so thankful for that. I prayed that I wouldn't be emotional and cry each time someone hugged me and asked how the transition has been, b/c although its been hard, we are good. I was worried going to UBC on Sunday would be really tough, and it was bittersweet of course, but it was good. Our children's pastor and worship leader both announced that they were moving at the end of the year, that made me sad b/c I like to think of everything I left staying the same but it was a reminder that life goes on and really, not much really stays the same. Even though we've only been gone a few months Waco isn't the same as when we left, and its a good realization for me to have. I only drove by our house once and it wasn't intentional, I had to pass it to visit a friend and I just glanced over quickly as I went by. I noticed porch furniture and a lamp in the tippy top -those were the only "differences" I could see. I didn't want to stare at it and dwell, we have a new home now and we're so thankful for it. All in all, it was just good to be there and hug my friends, eat some of my favorite Texas foods, and shoot some of my favorite families, good times. I returned with a full and thankful heart and I was so happy to kiss B's cheeks and hug my husband. Speaking of my sweet husband -he turns 38 today! HAPPY BIRTHDAY ADAM!!!! Today starts our string of birthdays, Adam is 38, in 4 days B turns 8 and in 11 days I turn 37 -whew! Always nutty over here this time of year but its fun. Momsie flies in tomorrow and we're all excited about that! Our carpet is being installed today in the guest house so hopefully we can get the bedroom all ready for guests! Yay! Well, I'm buried in editing as I worked a lot while I was in Texas so I've gots to go, more to come! xo

Peek from a mini session of some of my dear friends~

October 23, 2014

I'm off today

Well, today is the big day -I fly back to Texas this afternoon! This trip came fast, like I knew it would. I always hate to leave B when the day comes, it makes going that much harder. It still feels kinda surreal to me, I imagine the whole trip will pretty much feel that way. When I get back its going to be insanity for the next week and a half, I'm trying to mentally prepare. If my flight is on time, etc. I should get home around 11pm on Monday night, Tuesday I'll have to go to the store, get the house cleaned, laundry, bake Adam's birthday cake, etc. as his birthday is Wednesday. Our carpet is being installed in the guest house on Wednesday which means we have to get the portions of the garage cleaned out where the carpet will go, and then of course celebrating Adam's birthday on Wednesday night! My mom comes Thursday morning and we'll need to run around to get the last minute stuff for Brennan's birthday party on Sunday. This is a crazy time, I'm trying to just take deep breaths and take a day at a time. Tomorrow I have to be up early for my shoot project which was the catalyst for this Texas trip, its going to be a busy few days and I'm tired already!

In house news, my curtain rods arrived and Adam and I got 1 of them hung, so, we have 2 to go and then all we're waiting on is the kitchen hardware! The office valences and shelves in the kitchen window turned out great -just what I had envisioned (love it when that happens!). The Winn Cali Cottage is coming together!

Well, I've got a long day of travel ahead and still have some packing to do so I'm going to get after it! Would appreciate prayers for travel and sanity (and my heart with the whole being back in TX/leaving bit) the next 10 days or so. :) Thanks for checking in! xo

October 20, 2014

more like myself

Well, its been a roller coaster  -this whole journey, I'm tired. :) (I'm also tired b/c I've had trouble sleeping lately...grrr, however it did pay of last night when it hit me we hadn't taken out the trash so I got up and did that (and then proceeded to get covered in ants, a story for another day). I must say though, these past few days are the most I have felt like myself in months. We finally had people over! Our house is no longer covered in boxes and I actually went to the store and made dinner! Success! It feels good to see the old me showing her face again. We tried new church #4 this weekend, what was neat was seeing several folks we knew, made that first time church experience not so daunting. And more importantly Brennan liked it! Its been hard watching my girl who was out the door on Sunday morning before Adam and I say "I don't want to go to church" when Sunday morning rolls around. Heart breaking, really. So, watching her enjoy herself was life giving to me, made this mama's heart happy. The 3 of us went out to brunch afterward and I think we've decided this is where we are going to land. This church doesn't check all our boxes, and its no UBC (understatement) but as far as what we've experienced so far, this makes the most sense for our family at this stage in our lives. Adam and I both agreed we could go to a different church every weekend and never find "it" or we could choose to make a place home and move on with our lives, we are going with the latter. It feels good to have some resolve and to know that Brennan is happy with our choice.

This weekend was nuts, our sweet realtor/friend had us over to her lovely home on Friday night and made the most amazing 5 (or was it 6?) course meal! I think I'm still full! Saturday we took Brennan to this amazing pumpkin patch that we haven't been to since 10/07 and then cousin Mike had us over to watch the Duck game and eat ribs/brisket that he spent smoking -delish!! Sunday was church and brunch, then I ran to the store to get some fixins to make dinner for our friends. We were celebrating our dear friend's new job and just enjoying having our long time friends in our new home. It felt good to hear Brennan laughing and playing with friends - oh how I've missed that.

Sorry I still don't have photos to share, my contactor is coming tomorrow to do the office valences and to install the shelves in the window in the kitchen. I received an email that my curtain rods have officially shipped so  -it shouldn't be too much longer now. :) I realized I never mentioned my latest business blog post here so, head on over HERE to see my sweet friend's miracle baby! More to come. xo

October 15, 2014

coming up for air

Today is the first time in a long time that I've woken up and thought "today might not be so crazy." Up until this point our time in CA has been absolute insanity, running from one thing to the next, trying to get this house in order, etc. I ran errands yesterday and accomplished a lot that was on my to-do list, today, I still have stuff to do but it feels like today could be the first normal day here in my new life. Lets see...we've been hanging things, cleaning things, organizing things, setting up things, painting things, etc.. All time consuming but all starting to pay off. The house is still not done but its getting there. The main things we're still waiting on: hardware for the kitchen, curtain rods to be delivered for the kitchen and living room, 1 more set of curtain rods for master (one set came jenkity so we had to send it back), custom built valences for the office, custom shelves for the window in the kitchen and laundry room doors. I ordered the carpet yesterday for the guest house, once that gets installed things will REALLY fall into place. There is so much stuff we need to put/set up in the garage apartment but we can't until the flooring is done. Several boxes, etc. are in the house just waiting to go in there -so, the count down is on! I can't wait to get that place functional and get it cleaned out. Poor Adam still doesn't have his office at work so he's been in my office and his stuff is...all over. Grrr. Its hard b/c he really doesn't have any place to call his own for work but I can't get my work space together while he's in it! We're all eager for his new office at APU to be ready even though I'll miss him being around more. We're getting there. :)

Things here overall are going okay, we're all still pretty homesick but I actually made dinner the other night and used the kitchen and it made me feel more normal. I'm ready to get back into a routine. Yesterday B said "I want to go back to Waco." She'll say that out of the blue pretty regularly and its like a dagger in my heart .every.time. I keep wondering how long it will take for CA to feel like home for her...well, and for me too. I love California, I've never ever not loved Pasadena and thought its one of the best cities in the world, stopped being home to me a long time ago and so far that feeling hasn't come back. I know it will just take time. Waco is a unique place...its funny how so many people go there for one reason or another and think they won't stay beyond their initial reason for going (ie college, job, etc,) but they fall in love and don't want to go - I get it. I fly back to Waco next Thursday and I already don't want to leave it. Part of me thinks I shouldn't have taken the work assignment I was offered, that its too soon to go back, but part of me can't wait to land and feel normal again. I hate moving. Yesterday I was early picking B up so I parked in the pick up lane and I walked out to get her (I never park in the pick up lane and knew she wouldn't know to look for my car), I got back to my car and the crossing guard was yelling at me that she was going to call the police if I did that again -apparently you can't get out of your car in the pick up lane -oops. I wanted to scream "Do you see my TEXAS license plates?!! I'm new here and I'm still figuring it out!!" I wanted to get in my car and keep driving...all the way back to Waco and take B to her old school that never threatened me with the police for an innocent mistake. Sigh. Change is hard, we're all still adjusting and taking a day at a time.

Tonight we invited our neighbors from our 1 month rental house over, we told them they would be the first to "break in the porch" so that's happening. Normally I would want things a little more together before I entertained but the hostess of our group is heading back to New York shortly so it was now or never. I think its good though, forces me to get things whipped into shape and to fill my house with people, which is really how I like it. :) So, I've got my work cut out for me today. Thanks to those of you who keep checking in even though its been a pretty lame blog lately...I'm hoping that will change in the not-too-distant future. More to come. xo

October 4, 2014

We're IN!

Whew! Its been a CRAZY few days, I'm tired! We are officially moved in but living in chaos. Slowly but surely we're getting there and I think after today I'll feel a lot better. Today is should start looking a little more normal and we shouldn't be stepping over things and should be able to see some surface tops throughout the house. Its hard coming from almost 2700 sq ft to 1300, there are so many things that I love that just don't have a spot (#firstworldproblems). All in all we are loving it so far, it almost doesn't feel real. The neighborhood is SO quiet which is so nice! We've almost always lived in loud places and this is soooo peaceful. B is really loving her room and so far that is the space that is most put together. Well, I've got my work cut out for me today so I'm gonna get after it! Thanks for checking in! xo

September 26, 2014

I'm still alive....barely

Well, its been a week. Pretty much all I've done all day every day is paint. I have a huge blister on my finger where the brush rests and my body is covered in paint. I scrub off in the shower every day and ye,t without fail, I've missed like 5 spots each time. Sigh. Today is probably the most optimistic I've felt in a loooooong time. The dry wall that got ripped out so the washer/dryer plumbing could go in got fixed today! They need to come out 1 more time to finish it up and then I need to re-paint it and the hardwood floors go in on Monday! Whew! We were supposed to move in tomorrow but the plumber couldn't come out until today to finish up so we just couldn't get it together in time. Honestly, I'm a little relieved. The house is so dirty and I'm looking forward to having some time to clean and get it ready for stuff to be moved in. Tomorrow I will finish painting a small section that is left of the kitchen, the baseboards in the master and I'll paint a part of the bathrooms that will need to get done before the electrician can install the new fixtures on Monday. Whew! I'm SO looking forward to the painting being done!! We finally hired a gardner and he starts Monday -and not a moment too soon! The sellers stopped the lawn service the second the house closed and we haven't had time to do anything about it so its an over-grown mess! I'm sure the neighbors aren't too thrilled with the new folks so far! All in all the house is really coming together and I'm so pleased with how its all turned out, its exciting to see the transformation. Unfortunately the plumbing situation was quite a bit more expensive that we had budgeted so no work will get done on the bathrooms -big bummer. I'll need to wait a while to dive into those projects b/c I know when the time comes, its going to be spendy! (why are bathrooms so much money?!!). After the floors in the office are done and all the light fixtures are installed on Monday, the only things left for what we're doing now is replacing the sliding doors with French doors and getting a new front door for the house (the current one is so ugly!). I can see the light at the end of the tunnel and I'm SO thankful. We are all ready to move in and get real life started, its been a long time coming. Thanks for checking in, I really hope to get some photos soon! xo

September 18, 2014

winn cali cottage update

Things finally feel like they are moving. After much back and forth it was discovered that certain products I wanted to use on the floors are no longer legal (if that is the correct word) in LA county b/c they are not environmentally safe. So, it was cancelling orders, finding new products, etc. SO, after much to-do 2 coats of primer are officially on the master and B's floors and the paint should get started later today or tomorrow, then it has to sit for 2 days before the sealer can go on. Ay yi yi. The a/c guy FINALLY arrived today! WHO HOO! So, by the end of the day today our house should actually be bearable to be in. Doug is plugging away at the ol' laundry closet and the cabinets got primed today for their paint! Progress! I think we're still another week out of actually moving in but the wheels are in motion. The alarm guy and the cable guy arrive tomorrow..another step in the right direction. Once all of this stuff is done we can move in but the projects continue. I'm still waiting for bids to replace the ugly jenkity sliding doors with french doors -that's the next item on the agenda (well, that and adding 2 light fixtures to the kitchen where they don't currently exist :). After all that, if there is money left in my little budget Brennan's bathroom will get some work done, sadly the master bath will have to wait a while. Too many things! I do feel like we're getting a lot accomplished on a little budget though, its exciting to see a cheap flip turning into something that feels like ours and is reflective of our (my :) style. I can't wait to get in our house!! Here in our apartment new renters are upstairs for the week and sadly, they have a 3 year old that likes to get up at 4am and run around so it sounds like a herd of elephants in our apartment. Sigh. Poor B isn't sleeping through it either so we had to complain -there is just no way we can function getting up in the 4 o' clock hour. Today he didn't start running until 5:30am so...progress? Needless to say, we're all counting the seconds until they move out this weekend. Ahh the joys of temporary housing. :) Well, I've been painting all morning so I gotta hop in the shower and go pick up B from school. More to come! xo

September 16, 2014


I woke up to Adam saying "Crap! I forgot to mail our taxes yesterday, oh, and I got a parking ticket for leaving my car on the street last night." I'm really hopeful that my day can only go up from here. Sigh. I also found out last night that B gets out of school today at 11:30am, what?!! Apparently its back to school night (why that necessitates a half day I don't know, esp considering B got out yesterday at 12:30pm as is the Monday school schedule). I swear, I feel like she's hardly in school and I may as well just leave her home with me versus the 40 minutes round trip 2x a day. Sorry, just had to vent there. Lets see, on tap...we've got the a/c guy coming back out but not until Thursday (and today the high is 104 -no biggie), I need to get the electrician out to do some work that was revealed in the inspection, I need the plumber to come back out to do some hook up stuff for the laundry under the house, my contractor couldn't find this certain product that I was told I needed for my floors, I found it online and it won't get here until Friday, and I have my first CA photo shoot this week! I'm taking lots of deep breaths, and spending lots of time in my car. This is where we're at today....a day at a time. Well, I've got 2 hours before I need to get B, better get going. Thanks for checking in. xo

September 15, 2014

running to stand still

To say its been nuts around here would be an understatement. It has seemed like days upon days of running around but only to feel like we're no further along than when we started. We own the house, yay! But the a/c doesn't work and its been 102 degrees here lately and getting the bids to get it fixed has been a major to-do. So, being at the house isn't so great these days. I officially finished painting B's room, the carpet got ripped up today so...there's progress. Doug officially started working on the laundry situation today so that's great! Its just been a lot of folks coming and going to give bids for this and that but without much actually happening. That's hard. The power got shut off on us the other day which was awful since a guy had just arrived to start working...thankfully they got us connected again rather quickly but it was one of those "nooooooo!!!" moments. Then yesterday, when it was 102 degrees the a/c in our apartment stopped working so we had to pack up all our stuff and move into a different apartment. This was NO fun BUT the new apartment is nicer and bigger with a king size bed!! Probably the best night sleep Adam and I have had in months. I'm just tired and feel worn out by life lately....I know, me and my first world problems but it just feels a tad overwhelming these days. AND on top of all of this, my busiest time of year is right around the corner, which under the best of circumstances about does me in so with all of this on top of it...I feel like I need to check myself in to a mental hospital preemptively. :/

I am officially in month 3 of living out of a suitcase, fingers crossed only for another week? I think that's all the news....we're just taking it a day at a time over here. I'll hopefully have some photos in the next week or so, we'll see. Thanks for checking in. xo

September 9, 2014

The Bridge

This weekend was really good, which was really needed. Friday we hung out with dear friends and made pizzas, Saturday we went to cousin Mike's new place and watched football (and ate pizza) all day and cheered the ducks onto victory! Saturday night 2 of our mi casa darlings spent the night at our (little) place as they were en route to Oregon. It was SO nice seeing Waco faces here in CA, warmed my heart cockles. :) Sunday morning I made a big breakfast and they headed out and we tried a new church! All of us are a little "eh" about this whole church search since we've left the past few weeks feeling discouraged and wondering if we'll find a good fit but this week...we didn't leave discouraged, we left encouraged and cautiously optimistic! Its a brand spanking new church, in fact, Sunday was their first service! There were probably at least 300 people there, it was crazy! Its called "The Bridge" and we are looking forward to going back this weekend to give it another whirl. It was so life giving to walk out and feel like maybe this was finally the place! And its kinda cool to think about being a part of something brand new and watching it grow. Anyhoo -just a good feeling. Then we spent the rest of Sunday afternoon with our friends at their in-laws; swimming and chatting and eating, so fun. I came home, rinsed off and then ran out the door to my friends for a little movie night. We sat outside on the most perfect night watching a movie on her projector against her garage - just lovely. All in all, a great weekend that left me filled up after weeks of feeling sad and missing Texas. I'm getting there.

In other news, we signed on the dotted line yesterday and bought our house!!! WHO HOO! It has been a LONG road of back and forth and I think there were MANY times along the way we all wondered if it was really gonna happen. We are so.thankful. to have a home and place to call ours again. We should get the keys tomorrow and then...its ON. I've already got appointments lined up to get things fixed/changed, etc. My sweet father-in-law is driving down to help us with our laundry situation and we're so thankful! It will be SO nice to have laundry inside the house and to have room for our side by side washer/dryer (most places down here (esp in our price range) only accommodate stackables). I went to the paint store yesterday (full disclosure: where I got the call that my daughter was waiting to be picked up from school b/c I forgot that on Mondays they have early dismissal!!!!) and got some samples so I can get to work! I can't wait to get in there and make it feel likes ours versus a cheap flip done by an investor. I've got big plans. :)

Well, that's the scoop 'round these here parts, this blog will likely be quiet for a bit as I'll be painting for a while. :) Before/afters to come!! Thanks for checking in! xo

September 3, 2014

temporary living, phase 2

Well, we're out of our lovely rental home and into a 2 bedroom furnished apartment...a TINY apartment. We're eating off of paper plates and have piles of clothes laying around b/c no one knows where anything is. Sigh. We're still waiting with bated breath to hear when we will actually close on our house but it should be next week!

We had a nice weekend, we got to spend some time with Doug and Kemi, and our friends had us out to their home for a lovely Labor Day BBQ. Last night some sweet friends invited us to the Hollywood Bowl -they had tickets to the LA Philharmonic, my friend packed a lovely picnic and we had a GREAT time. It still doesn't feel like real life yet, poor B has to get up early for school which is what keeps us somewhat on track around here! Adam doesn't have his office at APU yet so he's been working from home which we both like. :) His first day of class starts tomorrow so real life will settle in quickly, I think. All in all, not too much to report....we're kinda just living a day at a time since everything feels so haphazard and up in the air. Oh, I'm flying to Waco next month to do a project for a client and I'm doing some mini sessions while I'm there so if anyone reading this wants one -shoot me an email! Oct. 25th & 26th!

I think that's all the news for now, sorry nothing too exciting to share! xo

August 27, 2014

its ALMOST a done deal

Well, after MUCH back and forth we finally got some good news today -the seller of the house we're in escrow on has agreed to some of our terms! Hooray! It looks like this house will close after all and I think we're ALL thrilled! That was a LONG process! I'm so relieved, I can't wait to get in there!

Not too much to report other than that, we're in our last handful of days in this sweet rental home, B is plugging along at school and I'm not as emotional as last week so -a win on lots of fronts! I finally finished the wedding I've been working was good for me. I needed a project, a distraction, and something familiar in these last few weeks, this wedding was a blessing to me in a lot of ways. It was also bittersweet because it was my last wedding in Waco (well, as a resident anyway) and it was in my church...I found myself getting nostalgic and homesick as I worked my way thru these images but it was cathartic too. Sigh. Moving is hard.

We tried a new church this past week, leaps and bounds better than our previous experience here but still a far cry from what we're after. The pastor was on vacation so I think we're in agreement it deserves another go. Today B and I are meeting some friends for ice cream after school, looking forward to that. :) Baby steps toward normalcy over here, thanks for checking in. Now, head on over HERE to see a wedding I just blogged! xo

August 21, 2014

house stuff

I get asked about the ol' house situation a lot so now is a good time for an update...since I actually have one! It's so funny to me that any one other than my mom still reads this ol' blog...but you do, so thanks for that, folks!

Okay, so, after 3 attempts we FINALLY got under contract with the 2nd house we've tried to buy here in CA. Well, the seller of this beloved little house is an investor who has never lived in the house, he just bought it, flipped it, and put it back on the market. The problem with this is, he has lots of properties like this and this house isn't his big priority -BUMMER for us. Timelines comes and go, and his motivation to do ANYTHING seems quite small to non-existent. Couple that with his realtor who seems to be eternally out of the office/on vacation and its just maddening getting any form of communication going. Well, my realtor has been casually showing me houses here and there "just incase" we can't get this deal closed. What's so crazy is I asked her to show me a new listing yesterday and she thought I was talking about a house 2 doors down (similar address so easy mistake), so, I showed up in front of the house and she was 2 doors down, so we saw both! What's crazy is I hated the house I wanted to see but was SO INTRIGUED by the house she thought I wanted to see! (I would have never even looked at it based on the HORRID photos online). Well, its a bank owned property that needs some serious work BUT, it has GREAT bones and TONS of potential. So, it got me thinking. I came home and told Adam about it, he was intrigued as well, but we are both still married to the idea of "our" house working out. Well, FINALLY yesterday the seller made SOME movement. Its looking like "our" house will end up working out but we're still waiting to make sure some things get fixed before we dive in. Its so nice having a "backup" plan though, just incase! Up until this point there hasn't been anything I would even consider making an offer on, so its nice knowing options exist (esp as we're getting down to the wire on our temporary housing situation).

So, hopefully in a matter of days we'll have a concrete plan - that would be great. A house just came up for sale on this beloved rental street of ours, sadly its listed at $799K -no can do. :( The neighbors keep telling me "did you see a house is for sale???" Um...yeah, I do SEE it but, a TAD out of our reach! Sigh...I wish!!! B has made friends on this street and its so great seeing her having fun. I let her stay up late last night b/c I couldn't bear to make her come inside and stop playing -being tired at school seemed like a way better option to me. :)

Things have gotten better as this week has progressed, but its been a tough one for me...the moving has definitely hit me and its been a big adjustment. I miss Waco every day, badly, but I love waking up to the southern CA sunshine and feeling the cool morning as I take B to school (which daddy will resume tomorrow :). Lots to be thankful for, but allowing myself to be sad and feel the weight of this move too, as one of my friends put it "if you weren't sad then that means you didn't truly LIVE in Waco." Agreed. xo


August 19, 2014

today was better

Well, I just did drop off #2 and today was a better morning, I didn't even cry! (probably b/c I'm all cried out after yesterday...3 hours straight will do that to ya). B said her first day was "good" -she said she didn't meet any one new and she played alone at recess but she said that was "okay" too. She went to her first gymnastics session yesterday and I think that was really good for her! They wanted to see what skills she has so they know which class to place her in. I think it made her feel really good that they said she was "so close to moving up to the next level" -they want her to take a couple more beginner classes and then they'll move her up to the next class which she is pumped about. I think its safe to say yesterday was way harder on me than her, I just keep praying she'll meet at least 1 new friend soon. Sigh. I also think yesterday was so hard for me b/c I'm also dealing with my own feelings and sadness about our move. Its been so nuts since we left Waco and I don't think I've had too much time to process my own sadness about leaving. I LOVED Waco and would have been happy to stay there forever, so I need to grieve and allow myself to feel sad and miss my friends, home, church, etc.. As good as it is to resume life with my "old" friends, there is still a lot of heartache there about leaving a place I love so much and that's okay. This move is a big adjustment for all of us, it was weird not having Adam home until around 5pm last night! I know that's how a lot (if not most) of how the world works, but we've never had traditional schedules like this so, its going to take some getting used to. I heard B tell Adam this morning "I hardly saw you yesterday" and I'm sure it feels like that! We're used to Adam being home all the time with us, even though he's in his office working he's still present and we both miss him.

In other house news...........we still have NONE. Ay yi yi, we STILL have nothing in writing from the seller about the "fixes" we requested so that is just maddening. We are really hopeful this sale will go through, but this waiting is pretty much torture. Meanwhile we have 12 more days in this house, its been a soft place to land and we're thankful for it, but also ready to move on. Life in the in between is just plain hard.

Well, I've been neglecting a wedding that I NEED to get after today so I'm gonna go do that. Thanks for checking in and for your prayers for B, means a lot. xo

August 18, 2014

that was hard

Its been a pretty busy time over here, we've been out and about a lot visiting with friends, taking B to explore LA, spending our evenings with our neighbors, etc.. We've been intentional about using these 2 weeks to really do things that are going to be harder to do once real life starts. Well, real life started today, and thus begins the "new normal." I just got back from dropping B off at school, that was really really hard. I thought the first day of kindergarten would be the hardest drop off, I was wrong. Typically Adam always comes to B's first day and our family of 3 does it together, well, today was Adam's first day of orientation which began at 8am so he couldn't make it  - I needed him. On the way to school I got a text from one of B's friend's from school in Waco (well, from her grandma, not from her) and it was a photo of Brennan's best friend and her other really good friend from school on their first day, I think it may have been a mistake to show B but I also felt like I was supposed to. It ripped my heart out seeing her 2 school friends in their uniforms on the first day, B should be with them smiling away and with no cares in the world, but instead she handed my phone back to me, with a hurting look on her face and I fought back the tears as I said "It looks like Alice got a haircut!" And B said "and a new backpack."

I hated the way B's new school did the first day, we hadn't met B's teacher and all the students are looking for a sign with the teacher's name on it and it was total chaos. We had the hardest time finding her teacher and it just felt awkward to not have a proper introduction. I went with B to her class (along with the whole herd of parents/students, etc.) and they had B sitting at a table with 2 boys and 1 girl but the girl wasn't there! I kept praying she would show up, how hard to not even have a girl at her table!! I knew I had to leave quickly b/c I could feel the tears coming and I didn't want to break down in her classroom. I kissed her on the cheek, told her I loved her and literally ran to my car where I collapsed into tears as soon as I got in. That was hard. I know kids are resilient, I know in a matter of time this will seem so silly and like a distant memory, but today, in this moment, I feel like I just left my heart in a strange place and walked away, and it kills me. I hate moving.

Yesterday we tried a new church, and it was just plain awful. I know we won't be able to replace UBC and I had no illusions coming here that we would, but I was reminded yesterday of just how unique UBC is and how that community was one of a kind. All 3 of us walked out discouraged and B said "I know where the perfect church for us is, in Waco." I agree, B, I miss it too. I hate moving.

Sorry, for not blogging for a while this post is a big downer, but I'm admittedly not in the best mental/emotional place at the moment...I'll get better, it will just take time.

I took photos of my loves on their first day, can't wait to have them both home and hear how everything went...big day of firsts in the Winn household today! Thanks for checking in, all, prayers for my girl today are more than appreciated. xo


August 9, 2014

Day 9

Well, we moved...and its been pretty crazy ever since. Leaving Texas was hard, like I knew it would be, but truth be told -the actual leaving was much easier on me then when we left Pasadena 6.5 years ago. I'm not sure what to attribute that to but I do think hiring movers and cleaners helped with a lot of the stress that comes with moving but the leaving friends/house/life part didn't throw me into the emotional tailspin that leaving CA did. Don't get me wrong, it was really hard and I don't ever want to do it again but it was bearable. I miss Texas every day but with each day I am reminded of how much I love California and am so thankful to be here. Hands down the hardest part of all of this is watching B. When my mom left on Wednesday that "vacation' feeling came to a quick end and her demeanor hasn't been the same. I miss my spunky, happy girl. :( I know it will just take time, change is hard...I get it. We went to my friend's in-laws house the other day, that was lovely. I've spent a lot of time with those folks and they welcomed B with open arms and she spent in their pool playing and it made this mama's heart happy. Yesterday we took her to the Getty, Adam had never been and I had only been once so it was fun to see the art and take in the gorgeous views of LA. When we got home I asked B if she wanted me to make her favorite pasta dinner or if she wanted daddy and I to take her to our favorite pizza joint, to my surprise she chose for me to make dinner -I think she wanted something familiar more than she wanted the meal, that girl never turns down pizza! She walked into the kitchen and said "it smells soooo good" and I said "does it smell like home?" and she said "yes." Sweet girl. She made 2 wishes with pennies at the Getty, she didn't tell me her wishes but said they were the same, I asked if they involved Texas and she said "yes." Sniff. I miss it too, B.

It really has been a crazy 9 days, we hit the ground running with house stuff -lots of inspections, vendors coming to the house to give bids, etc.. We are currently waiting for the sellers to respond to our list of requests as far as repairs...fingers crossed. It needs a new roof which we knew, but it also needs some major chimney repairs that are spendy! Yikes. Meanwhile I'm day dreaming about all the changes I want to make...most will have to wait but a few will get done before we move in and I can't wait to see the small transformations to make it "ours."

Our current living situation is a bit of a dream... I refer to this neighborhood as "the land of nod" -its almost magical here! The house is an absolute GEM and the folks on this street have been SO nice to us! We've had drinks with our neighbors several times already and they have brought over toys for B to play with, the neighborhood girls have asked B to play, etc. They keep saying how they're plotting to keep us on the street! I'm sold! Except...there is NO way we could afford to live here, boo! The house we're renting would sell for over a million easily...its so great. We're just trying to take in each day and be thankful for the month we get to call this place home. :) (B actually isn't a huge fan of the house (odd) and she says she likes our house that we're moving into better -glad to hear it! :). I think she's just eager to live in her own space, and I totally get that. As much as I love living here I am really really eager to have my "own" space and things surrounding me.  My girl and I are definitely two of the same in many ways.

Well, that's pretty much what's been going on with us, a lot of house details and checking out LA to show B all that it offers before she starts school. Tonight we're having dinner with friends so that will be great, really looking forward to that. Just diving back into our new life and trying to feel at home as soon as possible. Prayers for B would be so so appreciated. Thanks for checking in. xoxo

July 29, 2014

3rd times the charm

This is nuts, we bought a house! This has to be brief b/c the big move is tomorrow and I've got lots to do but...we're not homeless any more!! WHO HOO! The crazy thing is, this is the second house we tried to buy...on three different occasions, and finally by the third time we all got on the same page. We're super thankful, it is the most sq footage our money could buy and we have 2 full bathrooms!! We feel so spoiled! The only "checklist item" it didn't have was the laundry situation I had hoped for but we've got plans in the works to remedy that so we're super excited and thankful! Can't wait to show before/after photos and get in there! Its going to be a while yet but some time in mid September we'll get the keys and off we'll go! Would appreciate prayers for the next several days, lots of goodbyes, moving, driving, etc.. This is crunch time and the worst part of moving. :(

Thanks for checking in, here is a peek of a lovely bride and her groom, more to come! xo

July 24, 2014

shelter -3x strike out

So the big question I get asked these days is about housing -fair enough, its kinda a big deal right? Well, the truth is....we still don't know where we're going to live and yes, we are moving in 8 days. Big sigh. The good news is we have temporary housing for 2 months, the first month we're renting a super cute furnished house that we could only dream of owning, the next month we're staying in temporary housing that is akin to an old apartment. So, the clock is ticking BUT we have some time. Adam and I just didn't feel at peace about signing a year lease and being that much further out from buying, esp should the "perfect" thing come along during that time. So, we have 60 days to find a house! Its ON. We have now made offers on 3 houses and came in as the runner up every.time. This last house was the least emotional for checked a lot of my "boxes" but the living room was SO tiny and the dining table space was an after thought at best. I don't think I'm being too picky, but I've made a list of must-haves which I'm going to share. :) (*each of the 3 houses we've tried to buy has been a miss on 1 of these items so I realize compromise is in order).

*At least 1000 sq ft
*some back yard space
*at least 2 toilets
*1930s or older
*decent neighborhood
*in Altadena or Pasadena
*a laundry situation that can accommodate a side by side washer/dryer and not in a horrible place (ie right next to the fridge or something lame like that)

This doesn't seem like too much to ask, does it? House #1 only had 1 bathroom but I was willing to deal with that, house #2 had the laundry outside the house and accommodated a stackable only -I was willing to deal with that but had a plan to change it, house #3 was less than 1000sq ft! Ay yi yi. I'm sure we could have gotten house #3 but we decided not to max out our budget due to the sq footage and not having a/c, the line has to be drawn somewhere I think. :/

So, we're still on the hunt and are hopeful that in the next month or so we can find a place to call home but man the real estate market down there is TOUGH!

So, that's where we're at, limbo land continues. Adam gets back into town tomorrow and then we head to Texas early on Saturday -a busy week coming up so my blogging will likely be slim to none. Thanks for checking in, as always, so appreciated. :) Head on over HERE to check out a beautiful
bride! xo

July 22, 2014

that was a big blog lull there...

Whew! Sorry for the big blog lull! As usual its been a little nuts around here, our summers always are. We had a lovely time at Black Butte (well, once Adam passed his kidney stone!). Nothing like a trip to the ER to get the week started off! Ay yi yi. I flew from Dallas to Portland and then drove to the Butte, it was a long day for both Adam and I. The night before I flew out two of my mi casa kiddos said their "I dos" in a lovely ceremony that I was so thankful to be a part of, it was good to be back in Texas even if just for a few days. Adam and I fly back to Texas for the last time this Saturday, I'm already dreading saying goodbye to that special place. :( I hate moving!!!

Well, I've got a load of editing staring me in the face so I'm gonna get after it. Head on over HERE to check out my latest engagement session! xo

July 7, 2014

a day at a time

I'm tired, and I'm tired of flying. Its been INSANE for Adam and I and I think we're both a bit weary. California was just plain stressful, it was 3 days of running all over town trying to meet with realtors, home owners, etc. to view properties. Needless to say, it was also kinda depressing...most things were super spendy and not well kept. We were in negotiations over a house we had tried to purchase a while back and after much back and forth it fell through b/c the seller wouldn't let us move in prior to escrow closing and we didn't want to be homeless for a stretch. Sigh. In hind sight I kinda wish we would've just said "fine" and lived in a hotel or something for a while. Its just hard, renting for a year, versus putting all that money into home ownership...but also, the timing being right for both -tricky. Ugh. We still don't really have a solution and haven't signed a lease yet...ay yi yi.

Well, we got back from Cali on Thursday afternoon, our luggage once again didn't make it!! This time it wasn't completely lost (like before), it just didn't make our layover in time so, we had to head back to the airport hours later which put our drive into Washington pretty late. We went straight to bed, got up early and headed to Seattle for my sister's wedding! It was a lovely afternoon and it was fun to see her looking so happy and to be a part of such a special day. Then we headed back to my parent's house for a day before driving back to Oregon. We've been here for a day and I've been doing laundry and re-packing as I head back to Texas tomorrow afternoon -whew! I am going to spend the night at yet another hotel (we've been in a lot of those lately!) in Dallas as I'll be attending a photography workshop all day on Wednesday, then that night I'll make the trek back to Waco.

I know this is just a crazy season of life but I tell ya what, I'm feeling it and am SO ready for a reprieve. Its also just really hard to work in the midst of all of this and the wedding editing seems to have no end! I'm trying to just take it a day at a time and rest when I can, thankful for the little breaks we've had here and there.

Well, I need to finish packing so I'm gonna get after it. Head on over here to see 2 weddings that I've gotten blogged! Thanks for checking in! xo

June 29, 2014


We are back from Hawaii, tan and happy. :) The 5 of us had a great time, the weather was perfect, the beach -1 block from our hotel, the pool lovely, etc. Adam and I really enjoyed our 2 nights away as well, it was fun to celebrate our 14th anniversary in the same place we had our honeymoon (albeit a different island :). I haven't had time to look through the photos I took (which were few) but I did edit this one of the ninner - I think she is about the most beautiful thing I've ever seen! (biased? :) I hope everyone is doing well, I'll try and blog more next week but its nuts around here! Adam and I fly to CA tomorrow morning to try and find housing (as always, prayers are appreciated!). More to come!! xo

** Head on over HERE to check out some photos I did for a sweet musican

June 17, 2014

3 steps forward, 2 steps back

I wouldn't say my back was completely back to normal but it was getting there.... until yesterday. I think standing on my feet for 6 hours, lugging my gear around, shooting a wedding on Saturday was the catalyst and then yesterday I bent over and stood up quickly...and that was it. I'm not near as bad as I was last month when I initially threw my back out, I told Adam it felt like I was on day 6 of last month's ordeal. So, last night I slept in the guest room, have my back brace on, and called the urgent care office that saw me last month and asked if I could have some more drugs. I explained I didn't take all the ones they gave me last time but I was going out of town and didn't want to run out. Sigh. So, today, its delegating to Adam and me moving quite slowly. Sigh. I'm starting to think I'm jinxed when it comes to Hawaii, the only other time I've been there was my honeymoon when I got crazy sick and had to go to 2 different doctors on 2 different islands. WHAAAAAA. As a friend pointed out, you can still lay on the beach with a bad back -true!

Today is our last full day as a family of 3 in Waco, B is currently on her last play date and Adam and I are packing our bags. I come back to Waco by myself in mid July to shoot a wedding and Adam and I both fly back together at the end of July for the final move so...its not goodbye just yet but it is for B. :( I hate moving!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Okay, lots to do! Head on over here to check out a lovely bride who got hitched on Saturday! xo

June 16, 2014

the final stretch

Whew, this weekend was nuts. Friday night some friends had us over for dinner, Saturday I hosted a yard sale with some friends, then shot a wedding, yesterday we went to church and then out to lunch for Father's Day, then our friends had us over for dinner/swimming (and rooting the Spurs onto victory -WOOT!) ~ all in all a busy and fun weekend. Yesterday was bittersweet, it was our last Sunday at our church, the place we've called "home" the whole 4 years we've lived here. As we said our benediction of: as we approach this week may we "Love God, embrace beauty, and live life to the fullest" my eyes got all watery as I knew it would be the last time saying those words in that sacred place with those amazing people who have become like family to us. It was really hard watching B say goodbye to Jeff, Jeff has been like a grandpa to B and you could tell neither one of them wanted to let each other out of that hug -heart wrenching. I can tell I've emotionally shut off a bit, its just getting too hard and I'm too tired and worn out. Since I'm coming back to Texas twice in July I've put off some of the "final" goodbyes just to make this transition a bit easier. I feel emotionally spent and physically exhausted. As crazy as it seems to go on vacation in the midst of so much going on for us, I'm so thankful for the respite I know is imminent....we really need it.

Well, today is one of two we have left here and I have so.much. to get done so I'm gonna get to it. Head on over HERE to check out a super cute family that I am going to miss. xo

June 13, 2014

nearing the end

Yesterday I had a massage, Adam got it for me for mother's day and it was (mostly) lovely. She tried to work on my back issues some and that was pain.ful. but all in all, a much needed respite amidst this crazy season. Our friend had us and some other folks over last night to grill and chat the night away, it was a good time. B had to say her final goodbye to her best friend yesterday, that made me cry. I hate goodbyes (have I said that before? :). B has her last play date today with her best friend from school, so we're officially wrapping things up here. :/

I have lots of running around to do today, I'm starting to think hosting a yard sale and shooting a wedding in one day wasn't my brightest move...prayers for tomorrow are appreciated. :)

As always, thanks for checking in on us, we're doing okay, just taking lots of deep breaths and taking a day at a time. T- 7 days until vacation!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Here is a peek of an engagement session I'm working on, more to come! xo

June 11, 2014

workin' away

Today is going to be a day in front of my computer, I'm buried in editing! Sweet B is having one last sleepover at her bestie's house right now (sniff) so I'm trying to maximize my "alone" time to get lots of work done. Vacation is just over a week away...I can almost taste it!! Adam and I are going to get breakfast burritos at our favorite hole in the wall for one last time today, Waco life really is coming to a close, crazy.

I just blogged my last senior so head over here to check it out! xo