virtual christmas card

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Because I know what you all wanted for Christmas was a photo session of our family :) Thanks so much, Christa, for such beautiful keepsakes!

a haiku for my legs

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Jared and I were talking about haikus the other day, and how we like their simplicity for telling a story. So here I present to you my beautiful prose about the evolution of my thighs.

Skin used to be tight
But now it has turned squishy.
I do not like that.

I can't believe my body is showing signs of aging. I for sure have noticed my metabolism slowing down. My calories are starting to catch up to me, especially now that Warner is weaned. Like, seriously, the texture of my skin has changed from silky seal to.. I don't know, frumpy??  Boy, this sucks...

portraits of an almost 15 month old

Monday, December 16, 2013

Does this post even NEED words after looking at that gorgeous smile?! Good grief, kid! I feel like I should just leave this post as a pictorial only, but I posted a photo of Warner on instagram the other day and I had a friend comment that she didn't even recognize him because he is SO MUCH BIGGER than when we moved from Virginia! Warner boy is sprouting so quickly from infanthood to toddlerhood. What's with my kids deciding to both grow up so rapidly?! So before he grows another inch over night and turns 15 months on Thursday, let me quickly document Warner at 14 months.


:::Electronics! Anything with buttons! You don't limit yourself to just the phone and kindle, oh no, you must touch EVERYTHING with buttons - the garage door opener, the thermostat, portable heater, baby monitor, keyboard, cd player, radio, lightswitches. You are a gadget magnet!

:::Animals. Stuffed or real. You love grandma and grandpa's rabbits! Every morning it is someone's duty to take you out to spy on the bunnies.


:::Playing duck duck goose or chase.

:::Cars. Dirt. Planes. Dirt. Water. Dirt.

:::Brushing your teeth (more like just chewing on your toothbrush)

:::Wrestling. You especially like it when Dad throws you on to the bed in a pile of pillows. You come out giggling and signing for more.

:::Recently you've started a thing for chapstick. You've come up with your own sign for it, and you like putting it on your lips and other people's lips. You do a pretty good job about not eating it, which I can not say the same about your sister.

:::You like to give love. You are so good about spreading happiness wherever you go.

The world is a better place because of you, Warner Bradley!

trim up the tree with Christmas stuff!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Decorating the tree was a big deal as a kid. We always did it Thanksgiving Day. While my parents cooked the feast, us youngin's broke out the ornaments and created a beautiful masterpiece, that no doubt my mom would come back and re-do later, but we felt it a huge responsibility to be the first to arrange the trinkets on the evergreen.

Since we are staying with my parents this holiday, it was fun to go through boxes of their ornaments and talk about the memories a good handful of them held. While watching Evelyn and Warner decorate the tree I just had this impression that this is going to be the BEST Christmas. They are both old enough to identify with the magic of this holiday (Warner's owl oooOOs at the lights are one of my top ten favorite things), but young enough not to expect anything. Like, every thing is just awesome - no disappointments, no high hopes for presents, no anticipations - just raw in the moment reactions and amazement. It's all pure joy! I am so loving being on the parent side of Christmas :)

portraits of a sickly girl

Monday, December 9, 2013

Three days ago Evelyn came down with a fever, which was sad, but also wonderful. This girl never EVER cuddles with me. Her vivacious spirit is always on the go, leaving me and my fragile "you're-growing-up-too-fast-please-stay-little" heart always in constant anxiety, forseeing that this fireball independent girl sees little need for mother's craddling. And as if it were a blessing for my aching heart (Evelyn and I had a hard week. I cried often. I was worried about our relationship), she up and got sick and doesn't want me to leave her side. She is so passive, agreeable, peaceful, loving, patient, still, and cuddly. She has been so tender, and it is just what I needed. Not the fever, but to know that she loves me and values me as much as I do her.

Also, she looks serene and beautiful when she is unwell, doesn't she? Portraits of a sickly girl pre-bedtime.


Thursday, December 5, 2013

Sometimes that little slogan can come in really handy. Like when your toddler is being super defiant, hitting her brother, ignoring all your pleas for obedience so we can avoid disciplinary action, then crying because her shoe fell off but really she's frustrated by all the negative attention she's getting, and I tell her I want to give her loves and kisses but can't when she doesn't listen to me, and she goes into hysteria, and all I can try to do to avoid completely losing it is think "YOLO!" This one life is all I've been given and this is the only time in my life where we'll be in this rearing stage, so just laugh it off. Sometimes that mentality works, sometimes I'd rather just cry pull my hair out.

You know, I can't tell you how many times I've super duper wanted to drop the big bucks on a pair of Google Glass. I think it truly could save my sanity. While I am not fully certain of all that specific technology is capable of,  I am 100% certain it is NOT catered toward stay-at-home-mom's like me, but I could be it's biggest proponent with that discrete video recording feature. So many times through out the day when a) we're 10 min late getting to where we need to be, I could just flip that little glass switch and record the potty break we had to take, the running away while trying to get shoes on, scrambling to get snacks together, the melt down in the carseat b) spending 15 minutes getting lunch ready, only to find that today was not the day when Warner wants to eat anything, then spending another 20+ trying to get something into his mouth c) recording myself to see how I sound like a broken record with "Don't hit your brother! Don't push him! Just leave him alone, go find another toy! Don't take that from him! Share, please!" - all that recording could really save my case if I ever have a mental breakdown one day. I'd have proof!

But that sounds awful, and no one wants to hear me complain (although you just did since you read this, but I can't delete it because it's my raw thoughts and I'm being honest. This gig is hard). But I will say there are other spontaneous moments when I wish my eyes could just record tender moments into my brain. Well, they do, I guess, because that would be memories, but I'd like a hard copy video rendered of all the sweet things my eyes spy, too. Like when Evelyn gives Warner a hug and says "I so wuv you, hansome boy!", or when Warner grabs a spatula and with a wide grin charges for my leg, pokes me and says "dah!" and then moves on to poke Dad and says "dah!" and we realize "holy cow! This kid is playing duck duck goose!" and he pokes everyone in the room, or when Evelyn says to me for the first time "Yous look pwetty, Mama", or when I announce we are going to say a prayer and Warner folds his arms ALL BY HIMSELF!!! Now those are the moments when a quick tap of the finger to my Glass would be instrumental to bottling happiness. But for now, they are bottled here on this blog.

I can completely say that I love this gig and just about everything there is to it. If I really disect my frustration, I find a completely deeper than deep layer of love behind it. Everything, EVERYTHING, I do is for the love of this two beautiful babes of mine, even down to the discipline. Now the key to all perpetual happiness would just be for Evelyn to listen to me the FIRST time and for Warner to eat everything on his plate, but hey, I was a kid once and I know that ain't how the game plays out ;)


Sunday, November 17, 2013

One of my most darling friends in Virginia just had her first baby the other day. I wish I could be there as she enters this new phase of motherhood. I saw one of my other bestest friends post on facebook that she just ate the most delicious pumpkin pie that my other wonderful friend made, and my heart sunk a bit at the thought that we'd been a part of the annual pre-thanksgiving feast in prior years, and of course the celebration was going to go on without us, but I was sad we weren't there to partake. I still get emails from playgroup, letting me know that everyone is getting together at the park on such and such date, friends congregating without me. My calendar continues to notify me that preschool is going on Wednesdays, and my sweet tooth reminds me that I'm missing Wegman's pumpkin spiced donuts season right now, dagnabit! The closest thing that I've come to in the past months since we've left Virginia to feeling "home" was at my local Trader Joe's when I struck up a conversation with my cashier and I told her we just moved back from the DC area and she said, "Oh, I used to work at the TJ's off Pickett!" My mind was blown because that was my TJ's and we just started talking about the parking lot there, how crazy it is, and I got all nostalgic for that ridiculous shopping strip mall!

Although it has been wonderful to be home with both our families, the more real it becomes that we are not on vacation. That we are not going back home to Virginia. That when Evelyn asks to "go back to Evelyn's house," we can't. That our friends were truly more than just friends, but they were and still are, like unto kin.

I am reminded daily how beautiful it is that humans can impact one another for good - so much good.
My heart carries the markings of so many who have engraven themselves on my life imprint forever with their energy, goodness, comfort, laughter, friendship, and love.

I better log off before I fry my keyboard with my tears.

I'm homesick for you, Virginia.

Southern California

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

So I put a 1970's filter on these photos, and isn't it marvelous? Totally gives off an incredible vibe and makes me nostalgic for a life in the past that I never lived because I wasn't even a thought in the 70's but this filter is just plain perfect for Southern California. Moving on...

About a month ago now (ah, I am so far behind on blogging!) we drove down to visit my sister in San Diego for a couple of days. On our way down, we stopped off at the second of our three hometowns, Santa Monica,  and were able to meet up with friends we hadn't seen for two years! We picked up right where we left off, and it was fun to see our girls play together. We wished we lived closer, but it was nice to pick up right where we left off and know that any time, any place we can always be besties.

My sister lives in a beauuutiful city, with a beautiful home, and a beautiful family. She just had a baby 4 months ago, and we had to get down and meet baby Shane! Somehow I only took a limited amount of photos during our trip... what is happening to my blogging spirit? Even my camera has been neglected! For shame!

a report from Tink and Pan

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

the big fresno fair

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

I totally used to knock my hometown, thinking it was kinda unrefined and dull, but I'll say we've been busier the past month than we ever have been and Clovis has kinda bumped up a lot of knotches in my book of coolness. We've really been loving being back! I will say that there is no other fair like the Fresno Fair. Jared and I had been looking forward to it for weeks, well, years kinda if you count the ride "the Zipper." It is such a classic ride, yet over the past 5 years we haven't been able to find it at any of the carnivals we've gone to, so we were soooo happy to see it in operation again!

This fair year was particularly exciting because our niece (only 4!) was competing in the Mutton Busting World Championships! I seriously had no idea that a sheep could be so scary and charge that fast! I was impressed that kids had enough guts to hang on for dear life. I kinda wanna put Evelyn in it when she's old enough.
Yeah, it was a good time. Was I saddened when we left without eating a single fair food, especially fried oreos? Yes. But boy did we have a rockin' time! Thanks Grandma & Grandpa for treating us!