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.

Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder

We hope this is true and that our boys get to experience this as their good friends head to St. Louis and Japan for the next four weeks. They can hardly conceive of it, so the date on the calendar has been marked.

We meet at the park, shared snacks, rode scooters, and they got filthy playing baseball on this dirt field while I stayed in the shade.

They gave “bon voyage” gift bags, with treats for their multiple airplane trips.DSC00157

We ate dinner togetherDSC00159sharing all of our favorite dishes at Veggie GrillDSC00161and tried some new summer specials.DSC00162We agreed that this corn was an easy dish we should recreate later this summer.DSC00163We’ve got a running list of things to do when they come back: attend a baseball game (of course!), take an amtrak train, go bowling, and have a garage sale.

We have to have one. Our lease ends Sept. 1 and I don’t need all this stuff. Let’s get rid of it!

Dinner Date

with my oldest boy for crepes (and a warm goat cheese salad for me).

He looks like he won the lottery when the waiter brings his treat

DSC00169and he looks devastated when five minutes later, he cleared the plate.


I was brave enough to speak French the whole time, which may have been slightly embarassing for Paul. But I am a mom now, so this is a given.

I also love having him ask me about my time in France, because he can’t really imagine me living a life without daddy or my children. When I tell the stories aloud, I feel like I am describing someone else, but it is really just the younger me.

One Dozen

We always go through a seasonal transition when we are all home. It is an adjustment to all be together and around each other every day, without anyone going to work or school.

A good problem to have-really. DSC00134Joe’s solution was these flowers, delivered to the house. A dozen roses arriving by mail, for moi? Because we aren’t the super romantic type I seriously thought the UPS man had the wrong address.

Surprises are wonderful.

Feeling loved is special.

These little ones keep sneaking into the bedroom, kneeling in admiration. Asking why? and I tell them it’s because daddy loves mommy. Which gets an “ahhhh” and an “us too” response.


A kid and parent kickball game was how Paul’s first grade wrapped up the year.


It wasn’t kids versus parents. It was more of the class being split in half and the parents kicking after their kids.DSC00127
Joe was the pitcher for his team
DSC00125while we sat on the sidelines and cheered for everyone.


There was incredible parent participation and my favorite part was at the end of the game, as the bell was about to ring, his teacher lined them up one last time and referred to them as second graders. It made my heart twinge a little with sadness and excitement.
I also really love this classmate of Paul’s, they look like they could be twins. Except when he looks at the photo, he thinks she looks like me. Either way, missing teeth plus curly hair equals cute!DSC00130


Summer Party

When we found out a teacher from the child development center was leaving after decades, we were so sad. But then we learned she was taking a risk, traveling up the coast, and wanting a new adventure. This is brave, exciting, and inspiring. So we threw her a party this past weekend.

Thankfully Matt is staying. We love them both.

DSC_0956The potluck meal and bucket full of water balloons made for minimal effort. Bubbles and beach balls from the dollar tree made for inexpensive. Streamers and a sign by Joe made for some craftiness.


The overcast weather and low key vibe took us a bit by surprise. Better than expected.


I tend to be a “glass half-empty” girl. The last two weeks had an evite list growing exponentially and because I don’t consider myself outgoing, more of an introvert, I was quickly intimidated. But during the day, I stepped back and realized this was such a lovely party in the park, maybe next year we will have summer kick off. I won’t go it alone though, it would have to be a team effort again.


And I am always so happy when little Miss O has her own set of friends. She can branch away from all the boy play and just run around with sticks and eat strawberries.DSC_0945