Single Shot

is all I have from my whole week.

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These were our colorful leftovers from an evening spent visiting with SF friends. I am trying so hard to stick to my goal of being a better listener. In exchange, it means the photos I snapped at the park turned out blurry because I was in a rush. There were so many more moments of undivided attention, than hiding behind my camera lens or being distracted. Less is more, right?

Extra Time

To run around with cousins

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playing hide and seek

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enjoying the sunshine.

DSC_8906They crowd together and look so similar.

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Around our house, they are happy to have time for lego building

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crafting in bed with colored pencils and washi tape

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story sharing

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and as soon as I am not looking

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the youngest decides to lather herself with vaseline.

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She is proud of how soft and shiny her skin is.

Family

Mike has been in Italy and now his family will soon be reunited. We wanted to see them before they left.
DSC_8892¬†They were sweet to celebrate Olivine’s birthday with cake and gifts. Her balloon says “hot stuff!”

DSC_8884We hung out in the backyard for hours.

DSC_8880It’s nice to loose track of time and let the kids run free. Paul dug around in the sand, jumped on the trampoline.
DSC_8870Henry ran the battery out on the kid car by going up the steepest part of the path.

DSC_8896Oh and you would of thought someone was going to take off with this baby.

DSC_8887Joe could not get enough. But when you see how smiley she is, well, she is pretty hard to resist.

DSC_8875Our only wish was these little rascals lived closer.

 

 

Drop In

We sometimes make do with just swinging by for a bit.

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We wanted to wish Jake a happy first birthday. We figured staying for under an hour was better than nothing.

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These are good friends who are as busy as the rest of us juggling school, jobs, a family, and life.

DSC_8867So even a few minutes in real life is important.

Opening Game

for the local college team: the Dirtbags.

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We were brave enough to do dinner out and head over at the end of our long week.

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We ran into more friends at the stadium.

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Sometimes we push our kids past exhaustion that they are deliriously happy. So close to the action, lots of cheering, and baseball (the game my family is in love with).

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Savor

each moment (I say aloud and to myself). It is too easy to give into the insecurities and fears. I hold these words and pictures close, knowing the depth of my imperfections.
DSC_8701It has a been a rough work week, following a round of illness, and many tears of frustration. But we are learning to put one foot in front of the next, and not take these sweet moments for granted.

 

Valentine Gifts

We are embracing the holiday.DSC_8795Paul decided to address each of his with a touch of hand written love:
DSC_8796Henry wanted to give out marshmallows shaped as hearts and I found cute stickers on-line to include with a little hot cocoa:

DSC_8833As for teachers, I went with the treats in a jar. A little chapstick, lotion, nail polish, and chocolate. All things I love:

DSC_8835 Paul sewed this in class and gave it to me. My favorite color: Red!

DSC_8838A mini love fest is what we are celebrating.

Last night

We stepped onto the porch to light the sparkler Grammy gave Ollie.

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Those little sparks look like magic and in our hearts we made wishes.

Three

This little munchkin named Olivine has been one of my biggest blessings. She was not the baby I pined after for years (that was Paul) or the unexpected surprise (of Henry). She was the fear of not being good enough. She came in the last semester of my Master’s program, and as a girl- all I could think was “How will I?” I have since discovered, in a twist of fate, that “How could I not?” This girl makes me wonder how I would have survived without her. I can’t really remember life before three years ago. I remember being nervous, but not much else.
She is creative. Like the other day when she told me she had figured out the password to my iPad. I asked, thinking maybe she really did, She said it was “please.”
She is sensitive: Joe said she was watching an online episode of Daniel the Tiger going to preschool. When he said good-bye to his parents she burst into tears.
She is funny. She puts her foot up to her ear and dials on her foot phone.
She is stubborn and has a temper like me. She doesn’t like hearing ‘no” and can stick up for herself pretty good. She is potty trained, a thumb sucker, has a ‘yum yum,’ writes some letters, and can count to twenty,
She likes to play babysitter with Henry, legos with Paul, and draw. Her dinosaurs are amazing.
She has friends at school named Chelsea, Elliot, and Annie. Sometimes when she gets an injury she likes to tell people she was bit my a shark.
In her honor and for all these reasons, we celebrated her turning three on Sunday with Grammy.
DSC_8696Starting with a breakfast buffet of her favorites: yogurt, fruit, and honey.

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A pink theme is easy to assemble with all the Valentine’s decorations available.

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She loves the singing and attention. Even when getting everyone to the breakfast table, she called “come to my party.”

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After eating, we opened presents.

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We didn’t get her the iPod she asked for or the swimming pool she said she really wanted. But we did get her a scooter (red micro mini) and a new helmet (My Little Ponies).

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We put on her birthday outfit that Paul picked out for her (there is a cute vintage shop nearby)

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and took a walk to the coffee shop for her to get a feel of her new helmet and new wheels.

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She climbed around, showing how she is as active as her brothers.

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Grammy came over for lunch.

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We had more singing and a little dessert (from the Saucy Shop).

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This girl loves chocolate.

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She has to wait two more years for a big party. But don’t tell her that. Because she had one and she was happy all day. She went to bed saying “birthday again.”

Fisher King

Paul transformed the bedroom into a store for his siblings to go shopping in.

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The customers had a hard time waiting for the opening hours.

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But as Paul announced, there was a grand opening with all sorts of deals.

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This store had a little bit of everything, with signs to help.

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I am sure you can guess what he is learning in school these days:

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He later, randomly said, “Mom next time I make my store I can empty all my drawers and have a clothing store.” As long as he puts it all away, sounds great.

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