39/52: A Quick Thought about Friendships

Monday, September 29, 2014

I wish I had more time to write today but...you know...life and all. I hope everyone had a nice weekend. We definitely did! I think I've mentioned this before, but I spent the first 3-4 years in Sacramento feeling pretty isolated and sad that I didn't have any of the type of friends who you could have over on a whim, or where there aren't any topics of conversation off limits...it's easy, and we're part of each others daily lives. That's why, as I think back on this weekend, and see that it was filled with our closest friends, sharing meals together and laughing over sangria, I am so so grateful. I truly believed in those lonely years, that I would never find friends who we could share our lives with and raise our kids together....I'm so glad I was wrong.

38/52: Happily Caught in the Sprinklers

Sunday, September 21, 2014

 I had a couple hours this past weekend where I needed to find something to do while Ryan helped our friends with their move. Since all three kids were acting like energizer bunnies on caffeine pills, I put them in the minivan, grabbed my camera, and took them to the Arboretum a few blocks from our house. 

Things started out pretty good. The kids were having fun running around and throwing leaves, but about 30 minutes into our little adventure, they started fighting and I was mad at their lack of listening. I lost my temper a few times, and decided to pack us up early because I was frustrated. And then, like something out of a movie, all the sprinklers came on! They were everywhere and on full blast! We were right in the middle of the arboretum, and the only way to get to our car was to run through them head on. We tried to dodge the sprinklers (ninja style!) but there was no escaping....we were soaked! I was holding the baby, but quickly realized I couldn't both hold him and protect my camera from getting wet so I handed him to Riley and ran my camera to our stroller, which was in one of the only dry spots. 

When I got there, I looked back at my kids laughing and running through the sprinklers, and instantly realized how grumpy I had been. Sometimes, I focus so much on all the logistics of being their mother and making sure they're behaving well, that I forget to simply laugh and enjoy who God has created them to be. I truly think my daughter is going to look back at this moment we shared and never forget it. I want more moments like this with my kids, and if it means getting caught unexpectedly in the sprinklers....well, then, I'll take it.     

7 Quick Takes: Apps, Books, Sick Kids, and Pope Francis Tweets

Friday, September 19, 2014
1.) Does every family have that one child who always seems to be getting sick or hurt? Is it because he's the youngest, that my 15 month old has been to the dr. more than my other 2 kids combined....as in, it must be because he gets all the bad germs the older kids bring home, yes? This poor kid! There's always something! Yesterday morning he woke up with a fever, a swollen pinky which was determined to be infected, and a molar that's causing his gums to bleed. I really need to work on my "Remain Calm" skills when the kids get hurt or sick too...but it stresses me out so much. Help?! How do all you calm Mothers do it when your kids are sick and hurt? 

At the dr. today 

2.) With the release of the new iPhone 6 and IOS 8, I was wondering if there are any new apps out there worth downloading?!? Here's a screen shot of all my most used apps. I use Instagram, Vsco Films, and Spotify probably the most. I'm kinda embarrassed by this picture because I don't really have that many emails...majority of that is photography spam. Also, I am the worst at listening to voicemails!! Please tell me I'm not the only one. And lastly, I downloaded the "WhatsApp" but I really don't get why it's so great and I've never actually used it...anyone know and can fill me in?

3.) Started this book a few days ago and I'm getting together with a group of friends tonight to start discussing it. It's about different prayer methods and learning how to pray as a family in the home. I've also been reading The Red and The Black, but I think I'm going to put it down for a while and pick it up again in a few months.

4.) Speaking of books, our book club is going to read Kristin Lavransdatter next month and I'm SO excited! I hear about this book from friends all the time and have been wanting to read it for a while! Have you read it? Love it?

5.) I don't use twitter that often, but every time I do log-in, I love to read Pope Francis' tweets. They're just the best! A few days ago I came across this little section of an article that gave some interesting statistics and listed a bunch of his most shared tweets. Love!

6.) Dominic's hair has reached mullet status. And while I'm all for a little partying and a little business....he's going to get his first haircut this weekend. 

  7.)  I've recently started photographing past clients again, and this weekend I'll be photographing the very first family that ever hired me when we moved here 6 years ago! This will be my 7th time photographing their family and each times gets more and more special! I've watched their family grow since my friend Krysta was pregnant with her first baby...and now he's in kindergarden. Hopefully I'll post some previews here on the blog next week. 

Happy Weekend!! 

Linking up with Jen. Visit her blog to see more 7QT.

5 Recent Favorites: Faith, Foods, and Fall Tv

Wednesday, September 17, 2014
Joining the Link-Up Crowd today and sharing a few things that I've been thinking about lately and a few that have been helpful! 

Here we go...Five Favorites :)    

1.) The September Magnificat! Last year, I bought my first magnificat subscription. To be honest, I often lose it, or am too disorganized and forget to bring it to mass. But this month, I've clung to it. Lately (always?) my mind has felt jumbled with a never ending to-do list, and it can be hard to hear God. I'm grateful to know that His love is unceasing and unfailing, even when my feelings try to tell me otherwise. There's a lot going on right now, there always is. And this little book, filled with the daily gospel readings, meditations from Church Fathers, and morning and evening prayers from the Liturgy of the Hours, has helped untangle a lot of my messy thoughts. Sometimes I only have 5 minutes to read, and sometimes I forget completely, but I can't think of a better way to start the day. And knowing I have friends across the country (and across the world!), reading these same delicate pages, and praising Jesus through ancient prayers, is a beautiful thing. 

2.) With the return of school, I've noticed that kids are starting to get sick...mine included. I'm always curious about what my friends do to boost their/their kids immune systems. This past weekend, I stocked up on a few essentials that we consistently keep in our home to try and stay healthy. My favorite foods to help with immunities are: Apple Cider Vinegar, raw garlic, lemons, ginger, local honey, and broth. Also, I stocked up on bacon...which is most definitely a health food :). 

My 8 year old is pretty laid back and will eat or try most things, but that is not the case with my 4 year old (remember that choleric temperament I mentioned?), so I usually mix in 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar with an emegenc-y and he'll drink it. I can also get him to eat raw garlic when I make guacamole or I add it to soup, which we eat for dinner about  once a week. Speaking of soup, learning how to make bone broth about 2 years ago was so much easier than I thought it would be. I was pretty intimidated (because I'm kinda clueless in the kitchen), but it really is easy! I'm hoping to learn more about fermented foods this year, but for now I just keep buying Bubbies Pickles and drinking kombucha. 

3.) Okay, how about we talk about a really serious topic now.....fall TV!! I've always been a huge lover of movies and tv shows. Sometimes I wish I could erase my memory and re-watch shows like Friday Night Lights and Breaking Bad for the first time again...*sigh*. I'm looking forward to The Walking Dead, Parenthood, Scandal, and Nashville starting up. I'm also looking forward to binge watching Gilmore Girls when it hits Netflix in a few weeks! I haven't been keeping up on any new shows coming out...are there any new ones that look good?

4.) I loved this blog post that one of my friends posted on Facebook today. Keeping this in mind when one of my kids needs a little encouragement. It's a short and sweet read.

5.) Lastly, a few recent favorite images (with a few repeats from Instagram). The whole State of California was like an inferno last week, and it's not looking like Sacramento will be cooling off anytime soon. I never knew how beautiful the Fall could be in California until I moved here....hurry up Fall! 


37/52: Critique

Sunday, September 14, 2014
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One of the things I miss most about the days when I was in school taking photography classes is the critique. I loathed when it was my turn for my photographs to be blasted in front of the class and to be told everything that was wrong with them. Sure, there was a lot of subjectivity involved, but when you are amongst people whose art you respect, it's one of the only ways you can really grow as a photographer. I guess that's what I've been desiring lately....to become better. With photography...and in life.

I'm struggling right now with how to best discipline my child who has a very choleric temperament. I just ordered this book on kids and temperaments, and I'm hoping it will offer some insights. My kids are always revealing the ways in which I need to try harder and be a better parent. I don't really like it too much, but hopefully, I'll become a tiny bit better than I once was. Just like the photography critiques...the growth doesn't usually happen unless it starts with a side of humility and a desire to know the areas that need improvement.

"A portrait of my kids, once a week, every week, in 2014"

36/52: A Few Ramblings

Tuesday, September 9, 2014
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 Nothing too new to report around here, with the exception that I can barely breathe through my nose, have a sore throat, and can't stop sneezing. I don't think the multiple cups of coffee I'm drinking today are helping the ol' immune system, but the alternative is falling asleep while 2 wild little boys run around the house looking for trouble. So coffee, and blogging the mundane details of life, is what's happening around here on a Tuesday morning. Let me just wrap up this post, and mom-blog-it-out with a few quick deets on the kids. 

Riley: School has started off really well except she's struggling with her math homework. She's always done well in math, but now it's getting harder, and the frustration is causing a few tears in the evenings. The up-side is that it's good for us to work through the challenges together so she can see the importance of working hard. The down side is that math is my worst subject, and I have to fight the frustration too. I think I will always hate math word problems! 

Luke: I happened to have my camera when I caught him hiding underneath his bed, watching a movie on the kindle....which is not what he was suppose to be doing! I got a text from Ryan this morning asking if I purchased Toy Story on Amazon.....nope...but guess who did?!?! I don't know if he knew what he was doing, but anyways, he got in trouble (right after I snapped a picture, of course!).

Dominic: Finally, finally he is starting to play a little more independently and take regular naps! Only took 15 months, but I'm starting to feel a sense of routine coming back into our lives and a little less like a zombie. He's also starting to talk, and play games with the other kids, and it's just really cute.

Redwoods and Oceans

Friday, September 5, 2014
A few text messages were exchanged on a Thursday about a possible getaway, and by Saturday morning, we were heading toward the coast to stay with friends at their family cabins. Trips like this mean so much to us right now because it isn't always easy or practical to spend a long weekend away with friends. Is traveling with kids easy? No way! We left 3 hours later than planned, endured multiple bathroom stops along the way, and I'm sure if you're a parent reading this right now, you know how vacations with kids aren't exactly relaxing. But we keep our expectations low, and I bring a few extra bottles of wine and usually we end up having a pretty good time. And this past trip, we had an especially awesome time (despite a few 5am wakeup calls from the baby). The smell of the redwoods, driving along the California coast, watching the kids jump waves in the ocean, and late nights around the campfire laughing made this Labor Day a pretty memorable one. 

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A few iPhone snaps

And more photos of our trip here from last weeks 52 project.

34+35/52: Labor Day in La Honda

Thursday, September 4, 2014
Alright, here we go. Getting caught up at last on the 52 Week Project by combining the last 2 weeks in 1 post. I didn't manage to get any pictures during week 34 (we should all get at least 1 pass, right?), so our camping pictures (is it camping if you stay in a cabin? probably not?) are going to count for both weeks. I'll post more about our trip tomorrow, but we have the sweetest friends who invited us to their family cabins for the long weekend. It was a last minute trip and despite losing our car keys for a few hours on the day we were suppose to come home, the trip surprisingly went smoothly.  

Week 34
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Week 35
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"A portrait of my children, twice once a week, every week, in 2014"
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