Such a reminder that summer has arrived


enjoying tofu tacos


sitting in the shade while little ones play in the treehouse


topping off the afternoon with ice cream




Staying Put

It is why Olivine went to bed on time and we enjoyed fireworks early (last night) at the bay.


I would rather avoid the crowds, take advantage of the quiet, and just stay put. The boys are all out at a party.


I am a bit of an introvert and know better than to overextend myself socially. My preference: a book, a movie, and staying indoors.


It is also a theme around here lately: about looking around, taking inventory, and making choices that are wise.

Our lease is up, and rather than dash out of this place like our hearts want to do. We have decided to stay put another year and pay the rent increase that we resent. Mostly concerned that we already have many new and changing factors in our lives. Giving our kids time to process is necessary and sometimes that involves a little sacrifice or delayed gratification. So yes, those thoughts of better parking, laundry on-site, or a little yard space is going to have to wait.

Self Care

I am learning, slowly, the value of self care as a mother and wife.

Luckily, I was recently given some dry green clay to make masks (thanks Jessica) as a gift from Italy. This is the perfect excuse for a little “me” time.
DSC_1400Of course, mixing clay in the kitchen draws a crowd that follows me into the bathroom. Where they insist on being included and when I pin their hair back to join me, I realize that teaching them about self care is important. It’s really hard for me to relax, especially after a busy school year and the slow building of homework. But it is possible, with eyes closed, legs outstretched in sunshine, giggles in the background, and nothing but free time.DSC_1396

Wiped Out

They sleep hard after playing all day outdoors. Her latest habit is to bring a book early in the morning, read a little, and then fall back asleep.DSC00174In the story pictured above, we like to change the names of the two ducks peeking at the Ollie egg to Henry and Paul. This is one she has memorized.


Big News

Joe was hired at a Long Beach school for a moderate/severe class yesterday!


We went to Lola’s after a morning at the aquarium


celebrating with their cheese fondue

DSC00180and soaking up some of this free time we have together.


It’s hard to imagine how different our lives will be this fall. Joe will be a first year teacher and no longer a stay at home dad. So many years of hard work, plus the celebration of finishing school, and I can tell it hasn’t all set in. While I am starting to imagine a life with a different routine, roles are going to shift for us around here. We are feeling blessed by the timing of it all, even with the stress, because this is how our faith gets stretched.

Starting Swim

We have an amazing reference that the boys used last summer for private lessons. DSC_1340She only takes three and up, so this week Olivine started after sleeping through most of the lessons last summer. My hope is that these little ones are at least swim safe and confident around water.


In order to relax in the outdoors I like to bring: a blanket, sandals (easy to slip on or off), a bag (camera, book, chapstick, snacks), a water bottleDSC00143 and wear a sun hat with sunglasses. That’s all I need to start this summer strong. I can stay put for hours.

Green Valley Lake

Our annual Father’s Day camping trip.DSC_1182Paul helped navigate because our destination was a small spot on the map we highlighted, between Lake Arrowhead and Big Bear. DSC_1111This year’s gift was a hammock, set up on arrival with a thumbs up approval from papa.DSC_1124Of course we all took turns relaxingDSC_1158or drawing DSC_1170or snuggling inside. DSC_1194This was the first trip using both tents. I won’t lie about how nervous I was at bedtime the first night, but how happy I was to hear their giggles and snoring.DSC_1310It was also the trip where little boys were given knives for safety and fun and exploring. DSC_1116At one point Henry proudly made a “stick pencil” where he took turns writing in the dirt with Olivine.DSC_1166I spent time resisting the urge to call out warnings, rules, and instead practice what I believe about trusting my kids to go off to parts of the campsite where I couldn’t see them.

DSC_1144She didn’t always love them disappearing but we made our own fun.DSC_1335And yes, of course, there was a small green lake (kid description) for swimming in

DSC_1253along with hiking and maybe a quick drive over to Big Bear for ice cream.DSC_1263There were fires started and s’mores eaten.DSC_1175Each trip teaches us a little more about what our family needs:DSC_1143time together with little distraction, enjoying the best parts of life and taking in some sunshine.

Summer is Officially Here!

I am declaring this to be true as we spent time by the pool today


splashing, whistling, talking, laughing, and eating.

DSC_1006This is a season of less structure, more freedom


I can shrug a lot or respond with a “what do you want to do?” when most of the year I have to keep a systematic schedule.


We can eat early or late.


We can stay in the pool or go play in the backyard.


We can be spontaneous and carefree.


As a parent it feels like I get to let go of some of the rules (that I don’t always love enforcing).


We can spend time with people and instead of making plans for months away, we can say see you soon and really mean it because we are making it up as we go along.


And as a wife it feels like I get to take time to consider the true needs of my amazing spouse: hence the camping trip we leave for tomorrow. He loves the outdoors and so in honor of our tradition for father’s day, we are signing off and headed out for a couple nights.


Wish us luck, and wish father’s near and far (Mike) a happy father’s day!

Touch A Truck

This is an event that travels around and offers kids a chance to climb on and learn more about all different types of trucks. The perfect event for little ones of all ages.


They drove a bus and trolley.


The girls shared the driver seat of the firetruck and snuggled in the sleeper part of the tow truck.DSC_0982

We all climbed in the earthquake simulation truck, while this one chilled out in the shade.DSC_0991

I would definitely do an event like this again.


Oh, and Jich you would have loved it. Each of them sat inside this race car. The man who owned this was a grandpa too. This was a “toy” for his grandkids. You would of thought these little ones were experts sitting in that skinny race car. It’s in their blood.


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