Monday, February 29, 2016


Lexi and Nathan have a new little routine going on: she is in charge of doing his hair! Every morning she yells, "Nathan, it's time to do your hair". At which point he runs to her with a big smile on his face. Which kind of surprises me, because for the next ten minutes or so she alternates spraying his head with water and combing his hair. By the time she is done, he looks like a drowned rat. But, for some reason, he stands there calmly and lets her do her thing. They truly love each other fiercely.

Things like this = ♥ mommyhood

Friday, February 26, 2016

barely blooming

Every year in February I drag the kids up to the orange fields to take pictures in the short blooming yellow flowers.  I tried twice this year, and was hard pressed to find very many flowers anywhere. We found a little patch this last visit, but they were so tall and some very painful prickly weed was also growing in them. I'm guessing it had to do with our colder than usual winter, along with the heavier rain. It was kind of disappointing, but we still had a good time. There were flowers to pick, trains to watch, and bugs to discover. basically a kids slice of heaven. Not to mention that we always go out for a fun dinner after!

 trying so hard to be cool these days, I don't have the heart to tell them that he isn't...yet

Lots of stink bugs spotted. Um...also, is this kid getting loooooong or what?
 I love these next few of my tribe! We had to keep Nate on the box or he would have been buried in the flowers and itchy weeds

 She sure had fun modeling for me in this pretty dress!

 Don't let that innocent face fool you!

 picking up a few videos for you tube

Tuesday, February 23, 2016


A couple of weeks ago Declan received an invitation from Champion Eyes to test for the next belt. On Saturday morning after his karate class, I dropped him off for the test (parents are not allowed to watch). An hour later I came back for the ceremony, hoping to see him receive a new belt...

They did a little warm up for the parents -
and then were told to hold their arms out to the side, bend their knees, and close their eyes. Apparently you have to do this each time you move up a belt - the higher the belt, the longer you have to hold the position. They were standing like this for an uncomfortable period of time. It was kind of hard to watch. 

Declan earned his yellow/white striped belt!

 After every award, achievement, trophy he's ever received, he always finds me in the crowd and smiles proudly. He glances my way, but did not smile. He takes karate and "champion eyes" very seriously!

I love this program and how much he is growing from it! 

Kickin' it, old school

We're getting back into the groove after a relaxing President's week off. What a gift this time was! Not associated with a holiday - no hustle and bustle. Just time to relax, see friends, and enjoy each other. It kind of felt like the good old days. It really was the perfect week off - some sunshine, some rain, some excitement, and some relaxation. Just the way we like it!

We started off the week with a hot day at baby beach. The perfect day to pull out the kayak and have fun with Micah, Kylie, and Trevor. The kids played great - the boys and girls alternating turns on the kayak while the little ones explored together. This day had me jonesing for summer!

 Do they know they are best friends?

 Apparently you are never too old to push trucks around! 
 The boys working hard together

The next day we headed off to the Zoo with Samantha and Kady. Friends we hadn't seen in way too long doing at a place we haven't visited in years. It was a win-win. It was so fun watching Nate get excited at every exhibit - despite the fact that he was running a low fever due to two teeth breaking through. Poor guy! 

Koala Spotting

 I kind of love this picture, even though they both look like they are irritated with me

Should I be scared mom?

 Bonding at lunch over electronics ☺

 The polar bears put on quite the show for us. There was a pretty big crowd, so I couldn't get a picture of Nate, but he was mesmerized!

 Declan, (my second shooter), got some great video of it.

Loving the escalator on this hot day! 

Monkey business!

On the way home we drove past Daddy's work and since it was so hot out, we decided to surprise him with a slurpee! Lexi was ecstatic, Declan was nervous that we would get in trouble. And that right there is a perfect representation of their personalities!

Lexi had been asking to go to the pool and try out her mermaid tail since Christmas. We decided to capitalize on our summer weather and hit up the Welk! 

 Never to be left out of anything! No matter if he can see what he is doing or not! 
We enjoyed a lazy, rainy morning. The kids took the opportunity to teach Nathan the joys of trash truck observation!

 LOVE these three monkeys and lazy, rainy mornings! 
We celebrated our anniversary. Through the years we have picked up a couple of anniversary traditions - a balloon for each year with a picture of that year hanging from it and watching our wedding video. The kids get so excited and ask so many questions. It is such a fun way to include them in a special day. It is also kind of amazing to reflect back on each year and the events that have brought us to where we are today. 
We took a vote and it was unanimous! A train ride to San Diego was imperative during this vacation! I'll admit, I was a little nervous about this, seeing how Nathan is all energy, but it ended up being an awesome day. Seriously such a good vibe all day - super easy, fun, and an in the moment kind of a day. 

 As we arrived on the board walk, we were greeted by the sound of a very loud horn. It was fun watching this huge navy carrier back away from the harbor. The kids really got a kick out of it! 
 This kiddo was so excited, he could not be contained in the stroller. Lots of toddling for him!
 Truth - if I am desperate for a smile, sometimes I pretend to hit myself very dramatically. It's always good for some belly laughs with the kids. Now, every time I have a camera pointed at him, Nathan hits the side of his head, telling me to make him laugh. Cracks me up! 

 Taking lots of video and pictures (just like someone else I know!)

 Strolling like it's his job.

 Climbing on everything he could!
 We spotted a couple of seals and some stingrays in the Harbor! 

 Having fun on the merry-go-round! 

 And, finishing off the day with our traditional ben and jerrys
 Nathan slept most of the train ride home, making the day even better!

Lexi and I ended the week, treating ourselves to a little pedicure. I just adore one on one time with the kids!

I am seriously counting the weeks until summer!

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