A Quick Trip Up North...

A few weeks ago we ventured up to Concord to visit some fam. MAAAAN. There's just something about the bay area, ya know? The weather is perfection! I know southern California is supposed to be where it's at, but the heat waves down here remind me of a certain place where the catci grow rampant and the summers are terrible *cough Arizona cough*...so I guess I'm in love with the bay area more.

We explored a little area called Walnut Creek the evening we got there, and went to bed relatively early. I say "early" meaning everyone was in bed with their jammies on by 830pm, but I didn't fall asleep until James did about 11:30pm. WHY DO TODDLERS HATE SLEEP WHEN THEY'RE ON VACATION?? Ok ok, I know it's a new place, they're excited, they're not in their routine-but seriously--he didn't fall asleep until 3 hours after his head hit the pillow. Sigh.

So day 2 was a little rough since he didn't sleep much, but it was a great day! We explored Fisherman's Wharf, took them to Pier 39 to see the sea lions, which Henry LOVED.

We also ventured into the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park, which was really well done! I was half expecting it to be lame, you know the kind of museums with white out on the descriptions/labels, but it was clean and the displays were top notch! Here's a blurry snap of James "swimming"...

Then we walked over to Ghirardelli square, but it was under construction so we had to settle for the awesome view below in another Ghirardelli shop. Here are some photos that James took near there...

Finally, we ended our day at The Walt Disney Family Museum located in the Presidio...

For 218 years, the Presidio served as an army post for three nations. World and local events, from military campaigns to World Fairs and earthquakes, left their mark. Come enjoy the history and the natural beauty of the Presidio. Explore centuries of architecture. Reflect in a national cemetery. Walk along an historic airfield, through forests or to beaches, and admire spectacular vistas. -NPS Website

This was our second time at the museum, the first time we rushed through in about an hour because we went near closing time. Now, I have to admit something, I am not a one hour museum type person, and I'm sort of a snob when it comes to the displays (see paragraph above re: SF Maritime museum). And I am a "LET'S READ ALL OF THE THINGS TWICE!" type of a museum person. So we were there for a few hours. I gotta love my husband and children for being so patient with me since it was a beautiful cocktail of one of my favorite persons ever AND a fabulous museum! The nerd-O-meter was at a 10, I was on cloud 9, please use any and all metaphors pertaining to my level of Disney geekdom in this situation. Here are some snaps I took with my iPhone because Henry slept in the ergo and I couldn't use my Canon...

There's a diorama of all the attractions (past and present) that have been at Disneyland! 

Walt's fave foods!

He loved to collect miniatures!

Walt Disney receiving one statuette and seven miniature statuettes from Shirley Temple for Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs- Oscars.org

I love this! Reminds me of Mitch and his box on his dresser filled with memories and loved treasures.

Henry and I sitting on one of the original Griffith park benches :)


On our last day, we took a mini trip to Muir Woods, so Mitch could have his chance to nerd out. It was sooo beautiful, and the boys had fun too! Mitch did the ocean view hike while my mom and I walked around with the boys. Also, we SCORED the very first parking spot next to the visitor's center which was a total blessing, because NO PARKING ANYWHERE. I had to include that parking spot thing in this post because it was so wonderful we were all high-fiving each other, so that's how you know it made our day!

Post hike gift from mom :)

James took this! 

Shout out to my momma---we had a great trip and really needed it! Thank you for loving us!!

Seeing God in the Snapshots...

On Monday we took the boys to the park for a few hours in the morning so they could experience Halloweentime! I love that they are seeing Disneyland in new ways each time we visit, but it's such a bittersweet realization that they will never be this age again. Honestly, I look at James and I see a completely different boy today than I did 6 months ago. It's beautiful, yet sad at the same time. I would stare at the baby fat under his chin, but somehow I blinked and the baby fat has almost entirely disappeared. And Henry, wow. A year ago he couldn't even lift his head, and now he is a walking-talking-eating machine! Henry has such a comforting smile, one look and the world fades away and all you see is his toothy grin and warm eyes! I love this life, these boys, the gift that Mitch is, both as a loving husband and patient father to our children. All this to say, I see so much overflowing goodness in these photos I snapped on Monday. Sure, some of them were taken quickly, but as I look at them, really LOOK at them, I see the gentle hand of God on my life and the beauty that is family. I hope you see the same in your life and in those that surround you...


Feeble Minded Socialmedialite...

Dude. I tried to go without FB, IG, Twitter (ok, I did great and did actually quit you for the almost 40 days) for lent. But....

It's so hard! I tried to convince myself I had to check IG to make sure I didn't win any of those enticing contests I entered, or "what if someone is trying to get a hold of me and it's uber important??!"


All this to say, I logged into my IG twice. And I logged into FB about, hmmm...20 times. I'm such an awful failure.

But sure, there were plenty of instances, and important moments that counted because I was engaged with the boys instead of checking my social media accounts, and then there was the occasional "stop and pray because I wanna check every app on my phone".

I've come to realize it's insanely difficult to QUIT YOU social media, and at the same time, I LOVE YOU social media. It's true that you keep me connected to friends, family, acquaintances, awesome deals on baby items, contests that I want to enter so I can win my boys some Freshly Picked Moccs, etc. etc.

Why do you both rock and suck simultaneously social media?! Why??


Ok, rant over. I'm officially back on social media since my heart has not been in it the last couple of weeks. I will stay off IG for now, try my best to keep off FB for the better part of the day, and instead of beat myself up over failing to completely abstain from social media during Lent, I will thank God for such incredible technology that links us together and encourages us!

Here are the latest happenings around here since Ash Wednesday:

Henry is 7 months old! Scooting, rotating, eating solids, drinking water, smiling all the time (when he's not working on those top teeth), and is on the verge of crawling soon.

James is my rambunctious toddler that currently loves the word "NO!", hot wheels, Disneyland, and library books.

Mitch is living and loving ministry life at RockHarbor Fullerton and the church planters residency. What else can be said about that? I'd choose to be married to a pastor vs. a doctor any day because although one can physically heal you, there's nothing on earth like spiritual guidance and encouragement from an Associate Pastor! Love you, babe.

And I am still here! Surviving! Loving these little monsters and photographing when I get a moment. The art history bug bit me HARD last week, so a trip to LACMA or the Getty is happening soon. Mark my words.

my new granny glasses + perfect baby Henry

choo-choo watching at Fullerton train station

the fab 4

book babes

his hat says, "Not large, but in charge."---it's all true.

THEM. My moon, my men.

Happy 2nd Birthday James Arthur...

Oh James, our sweet, charismatic, handsome, energetic, loving boy---today you turned two!

The absolute BEST and wonderfully exhausting two years of our lives, we wouldn't have it any other way little man. You make us so proud, we love seeing your eyes light up and glisten with excitement when you discover something new, or when we understand what it is you're trying to say to us, or when you see your favorite things come to life! Like when you saw your choo-choo train under the tree on Christmas morning, oh man, I about cried from all of the wonder and excitement that was across your sweet face! It was magic...pure magic!

We have loved getting to know who you are this past year. You can be so shy with strangers, or even people you see every week at church, but you opt to keep quiet or look away because you just don't know how to engage with everyone right away. Even your extreme separation anxiety makes you wonderful because we know one day you won't even look over your shoulder when it comes time for you to go to school.

You just started sleeping in your own toddler bed, in your own room about 2 weeks ago, which is amazing, but also SO HARD because we've loved cuddling with you these past two years. We were major advocates for co-sleeping because we knew the day you wanted to be in your big boy bed would come soon enough.

We took away your binky + your bottle about a month ago. We let you hang onto those two things for a while because we know there was already a lot of adjusting with your baby brother being born and we didn't want to rock the boat too much for you. But you were such a champ and handled both of those things so well! Okay okay, you do steal Henry's binky every once and a while...but you'll get over that soon enough.

Here's a list of our favorite phrases and funny quirks you've said or done this past year:

Old Man Walk: You would walk hunched over and move really slow like an old man! We asked you to do it tonight and you just stared at us with a blank look. I cried because you already forgot all about that, but we won't forget which is so wonderful and painful because you're growing up...

Mexican Hat Dance: Exactly what it sounds like. You tuck one arm under your armpit, and the other one is loose at your side, and you do a little step around an invisible thing on the ground = Mexican hat dance!

The Finger Suck: This one is totally weird, but you stick your finger in your mouth and then pull it out fast and say, "All done!". It's like when a chef kisses his fingers after he's made a gourmet meal or something. We always laugh!

"He-Haw-She-Saw": We have NO idea what this meant, but you would say it casually, or scream it, and it was just a form of communication for you. Either way, we miss you saying it. I wish I would've got it on video...

"All ABOOOOARD!": You fell head over heels for The Polar Express this past Christmas, and we (Dad + I) can quote Tom Hanks to a T. You used to say the sound of the words, but now you can actually pronounce, "All Aboard". I did get this on video and I can't wait to show your wife one day :)

"Vroom Vroom!"= Cars. Both the movie and actual physical cars we see everyday on the street.

"NOISE!": You say "NOISE!!!" whenever we see an ambulance or a fire truck. Because they both make loud noises. You're such a genius!

"Mick Mick": Mickey Mouse.

"MACK!": Mater + Mack the diesel truck from the movie Cars. We've realized they both share the same name since they're names are relatively similar.

And last but not least, this past week we realized what you were saying when you pointed to Mike Wazowski from Monsters Inc. "Surrly" is his name to you, and "Mick Wazz??" is Sully. You have them mixed up my sweet boy, but we love it!

We are so happy you loved your Cars balloon, Hot Wheels, Mickey train, chocolate cake, and short but sweet visit to Disneyland today. We are so blessed by your tender soul and we can't wait to celebrate you again next year, and every day between then and now.

Mama & Dada

Where Did the Month Go?

It's been almost one month since I've last blogged!

In the past month Henry turned 2 months old, James turned 21 months old (so close to being 2! I cannot believe it), I now have bangs which I'm sure I will be so sick of by the end of this week, Mitch has continued in the church plant program and been preparing for a busy December, we renewed our Disneyland passes (thanks to my mama!), Teddy got groomed and pampered at his new groomers, and my sisters are visiting this week!

"What up, ma?"



fist pumps for Mickey!

Fresh from the groomers

park adventures!

Aunt Moriah + Baby H

...and now, Thanksgiving is Thursday + Christmas is in exactly 1 month! 


So what have you been up to? I feel like Facebook is mostly reposts and ads and not much else. I actually check Instagram to see how you all are vs checking Facebook these days. Anyone else do the same?

Blogposts to come: A 2013 Thanksgiving letter to friends + fam, decorating your stroller with some snazzy Christmas spirit, and some photo sessions!

Thankfulness, Day 4...

Day #4, I am thankful for :

Disneyland passes!!! We've been pass holders since we were bf + gf, and now we go to the park as parents. It's seriously so surreal! It's been an amazing 9 years. Thanks Uncle Walt!



Baby boy + grampa 
(yeah, the carpet was probably gross. Guess I'm also thankful for decorated carpet so you can't see it!)

I love making him laugh!