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