Monday, October 1, 2012


Ashlyn's birthday was 2 weeks ago. We had orginally planned a day trip to a water park, but weather was not gonna have it, so we had to brain storm fast and decided a girl's day would do the trick. We called two of her closest friends, and got hair and nails done, had lunch and went shopping. I don't think the day could've been any more perfect for her.


There is something so pure and innocent about watching a budding friendship between little girls. They are so honest,they truly love each other, and they interact in such a way that is so reminiscent of a grown up friendship. I loved hearing their conversation as I was driving....with each new activity their valley girl accent got a little thicker "Oh, my gawsh Ashlyn...that is so cah-ute!" I could hear them comparing their hair do's and what was tucked in their sparkly goodie bag purses. Whose bag had more pink stuff, and whose hair had more glitter. It gave me a little taste of what is to come. All the little girls I will adopt as bff daughters as they grow up, and friendships that will grow stronger and stronger each year.


Girlfriends have special places in your heart. I talk about mine often, and the one thing I learned most in my "coming of age" is you need them. There was a time in my life when I said "I don't need more friends....I have a hard enough time keeping up with the ones I have.", but i've realized that is entirely false. Friendships are like marriages, they take work. They take commitment, and time. You give a little, and you get a little, but they make your life so much richer when you pay attention to them.


I recently made the commitment to myself to really cultivate the friendships that I have, and to become more efficient at making new ones. God has blessed me with the most amazing women to fill all the nooks and crannies of my heart. He has entrusted me with these fabulous relationships that I didn't realize were so valuable to my life until now...I've been in my own little bubble for so long that I had forgotten that there were other people to truly love and spend time with outside your own family circle, but i'm loving it, and I'm loving that I'm teaching my girls how to be good friends too.


I'm trying to teach them now that gossip tears people down. That true friends don't make you feel bad about yourself, and you should feel happy when you are around them. That true friends don't just take...they give too. That it's ok to think someone is pretty, or good at something that you aren't, and that it shouldn't make you feel ugly or jealous inside, and most importantly that it isn't about how many friends you have, but about how the ones you have run deep, and you are there for each matter what.


To all my new friends...I'm kinda falling in love with you guys, and I feel like I've known you forever. You've added a new level of richness to my life that I feel so grateful for, and I know I've found forever friends in you.

and, to all my forever friends I'm so sorry for taking your friendships for granted. You've been there for me through the craziest times in my life, and I love you gals more than a blog post could ever express. I'm making my rounds...realizing I need to let you know how special you are to me with more than a facebook shout out, or happy birthday. I miss you girls! Everyday!

Monday, August 13, 2012

The Countdown

It is the "2 weeks until school starts" countdown. We've reluctantly ventured to the outlet mall to attempt a bargain hunted clothing haul, and have half the school supply list checked off. Still, I'm not ready for it to end just yet. I have officially trained our 2 oldest children to sleep until noon, and the idea of going back to 7am sounds like an impossible feat.


Our summer list is only half checked off,I have unfinished summer projects stacked up in the garage, and I can already feel the quiet that will permeate our home when they head off to 1st and 3rd grade for 7 hours a day. I value my time with them...and while I will appreciate less mess to clean, I'll miss their company.


Seeing that I am a glass half full kind of girl, I can say that summer was still good to us.

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We still made a ton of memories I know they won't forget, and I have 2 good weeks! 2 weeks to play outside in the sweltering heat trying to suck every ounce we have left. 2 weeks to go to bed a little later, and sleep a little longer. 2 weeks to plan how I will make their first week of school extra special.

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So in the meantime...I will savor. It's what I do.


Tuesday, July 31, 2012

A Legacy

I always laugh when I tell people "I used to dance", because I feel like I have to follow up that comment with "not the pole kind, but the real jazz, ballet, was the colonel on the dance team kind." It was a love of my life for many years, and as much as I would love to do it everyday in my thirties...I feel like passing the torch may be a bit safer for my elderly muscles.  I taught my girls ballet terms way before they were ever in a class, and sometimes an attempt to show them an amazing leap results in a pulled hamstring and ice packs, (for the record...i still have a mean leap though haha) my pirouettes make me a little dizzy and my toe touch can be done most successfully on a trampoline. Still, I love it! My favorite quote ever is... "life is not about waiting for the storm to pass, it's about learning to dance in the rain." When we are bored in this house, we dance. When I'm feeling bad, I dance. When we are feeling silly...we dance. A peek into our window in our living room at 3pm will likely reveal a small recital going on with couches pushed back, and pandora blaring. It's what I love, and I'm so happy my efforts to brain wash my girls has been successful, because they love it too.


So, when the summer schedule at the studio had a spot for my itty bitty, i excitedly snatched it up. She will be my youngest dancer at a teeny tiny 2, and I think she knows more than I knew at 14. She's sort of become the studio mascot, whom they have renamed "boo". At any given moment on any given day if anyone asks her to do an arabesque, chase', leap, pirouette, or plie' she knows exactly what to do, and proudly performs on demand.

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I was such a proud mama peeking through the thick black curtains of the dance room. Although she was a little shy at first, she jumped right in and willingly participated...might i even add, showed off a little. She wore her tutu with pride, and adored her pink ballet shoes that are two sizes too big from the moment I slipped them on her little feet.

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The definition of a "legacy" is: "anything handed down from the past"... maybe I will never make the top 20 of So You Think You Can Dance, or chaine across a New York stage, but this tiny dancer...she just might.


Saturday, July 14, 2012

Always Stop For Lemonade

A lemonade stand is a favorite childhood pastime.


We were preparing the final details this morning...finding the perfect ice bucket, a mason jar for our money, and 3 fresh lemons to accessorize our table, when Ashlyn asked me, "mama, did you do lemonade stands when you were little?" It brought back fond memories of flipping over a large ice chest and preparing a fresh batch of lemon flavored "Flavor Aid" (cause it was cheaper than the real stuff), and sweating it out in hopes of striking it rich. It's the quintessential summer activity, and a childhood is not complete without one good attempt at entrepreneurship.







I've said it before..."i think the love is in the details." Yes, a flipped over ice chest is just as memorable as a homemade stand, but they will remember...They will remember the sound of the hammer, painting lemony yellow stripes, and carefully crafting each letter to make the sign. It's also a testimony to what you can do with what you just have around the house.


We built this together last year. (just me and the girls). With caveman tools. A hammer, some spare nails, a left over pallet from a grass purchase, and some rotting fence wood from a neighbor. I may or may  have not done all my wood cuts with a jigsaw (fancy huh?) But, this year we just had to give her some fresh paint, and a few more nails, and I'm pretty sure she will be around for a while. As will the lasting memory of the lemonade stand with Mom.

A quick note to grown ups: You should stop at every lemonade stand. A quarter is not a lot to spare for the opportunity to brighten a child's day, validate their efforts, and make them feel important. could you pass up this face?


Go make some lemonade!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Makin' beachy summer memories


We packed up another summer memory this weekend. I have a great appreciation for mother earth, and I love any opportunity to revel in the awe of beauty. Beaches are gorgeous. The smell and taste of salty water that lingers on your lips long after you've left.  The sound of crashing waves, squawking seagulls, the whooshing of the wind in your hair, and the beautiful sight of the golden buttery light that you can't escape as the sun slowly fades into the horizon. It's heaven, and I see why my Dad made the choice to move there shortly before he passed away.





Most of my family lives in a coastal city, yet very few of them take advantage of the gorgeousness that surrounds them every day.  I had to twist some arms to get them to join me, but I'm glad they did. We don't get to spend as much time with them as we would like, and in the crazy hectic thing called life, sometimes you forget how much you miss them.



(i love this picture of my grandpa...He's so not "beachy", and was perfectly happy watching from the car.)

My Grandmother is a first generation paparazzi. We grew up in the olan mills portrait studio, cheesing in front of fake waterfalls, and winter wonderland's. The fondest memories of my childhood are getting to wear lipstick and blush before a session, and playing in the studio where my grandmother worked. I think I get my love of photography through her.




that little one is always trying to steal the spotlight


(props to the sister for unknowingly using the rule of thirds, and executing some superb composition in this shot)


Summer is in full swing at our house, yet I feel like the time is fleeting. There are only 6 weeks left to make the best of it and,I have a couple of night owl's calling me right now to join in their puzzle fun.