Tuesday, December 16, 2014

casual tuesday

All three of us stayed in our jammies all day today. (Although, I DID shower. And Goldie ALWAYS wears jammies.) Still. Was nice to have a quiet, cozy day together. 

Monday, December 15, 2014

winter pi-nic-nic


Last week, the weather was so wonderful and warm, warm, warm for December in Utah. Like 60 degrees warm! One afternoon, I took the girls on a walk around the block. Then we came home, put Goldie down for a nap, and it was still heaven outside so Hero and I decided to have a little front yard "pi-nic-nic!" 

With Monkey and our favorite snack fare in tow (cheese, raisins, and crackers), and a sipper cup of milk, we turned on the Christmas lights, laid out the blanket, and munched and chatted. After having our fill of snacks, Hero practiced her "magic tricks" on the grass. Then she had the brilliant idea to have a dance party. I turned on some music on my phone (volume all the way up!) and the two of us twirled and twirled and twirled. Dancing like nobody's watching out in public with my little Hero girl is one of the very best things in this world. 

Love these small, marvelous moments of living life to the very fullest. 

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

toe grabbin!

Goldie will be 5 months next week. I know every mother says this, but I REALLY can't believe how fast this is all flying by. We're coming up on my very favorite stage of baby love: 5-7 months. The toe grabbing is just the tip of the iceberg of sweet chubby goodness that's ahead of us the next few months. 

She's talking lots more lately- we vacillate between baby pterodactyl shrieks and little monster growls and coos. Still the smiliest girl we know, she just lights up instantaneously whenever she sees either Chas, me, or Hero. Strangers, too. Such a good, giving heart. Reminds me a lot of her daddy. Totally without guile and always thinking the best of others. 

I can feel my heart doubling in size seemingly every day for this girl. 

my hero says

(To her puppy): "Oh puppy! You're so nervous!" 

(To her monkey): "Come on, Monkey. Let's get you warm." 

(Singing loudly while jumping on our bed): "La la la la la! I'm a Hero girl!" 

(As I'm sloooowly getting out of bed in the morning): "Good job! Good job moving, Mom!" 

(While watching the garbage truck outside): "Hi. How are you? What's your name? Truck. Oh ok! Good!" 

(While squeezing me tight): "I love this girl." 

(To the large zebra in Goldie's room): "Let's go snowboarding, Zebra cousin!" 

(When I asked her if she was poopy): "No. I'm a beautiful dancing flower." 

(While jumping up and down in excitement): "Friday?! I LOVE Fridays!"

(In just her dipe): "Ta da! I'm naked!"

Monday, December 8, 2014

back at home again

Over the weekend, Chas and I were lucky enough to have a little getaway trip to St. George, Utah. I was able to book a couple of shoots to help off-set the cost and my mom and dad were willing to watch the girls.

We had the BEST time. Truly.

We went to San Francisco back in August (I think) but something about this little staycation seemed even better than our time in CA. We slept in, ate lots and lots of really yummy food, went bowling, stayed at a nice hotel with an outdoor hot tub and fire pit, saw two movies, went hiking, and met up with friends. During my shoots, Chas filmed me in action because he's working on putting together a little photographer promo video for me. It was extra special feeling like we were both working creatively together, side by side. I just love that we get to do stuff like this. Such a blessing in our lives.

We drove home yesterday afternoon and picked up the girls. It's great being back home and in our little routine again.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

simple, quiet beauty

Blogging images like these has been a way for me to hold myself accountable and actually edit the photos I've started taking of my family and then pair them with my thoughts.

As I've given my blog new life, I'm making a deliberate, conscious effort to make these images and accompanying words be only for myself and my family. I realize that others may be following along and reading- and that's fine- great, even! But I really don't want this blog to be at all about trying to look "cool," be seen, or please others. It's honestly very easy for me to fall into that trap and play that game but I've learned that doing so sucks the joy and happiness out of all this for me pretty dang quickly. So I'm striving to keep myself in check.

For example, if I ever feel tempted to take a photo mainly because I want others to see what a hip little outfit Hero has on or because I actually am wearing something other than sweats and wouldn't it be great for people to see and know how awesome I am and what trendy clothes I own and wear on a consistent basis (haha!)....I stop. Take a step back. Realize I'm being a weirdo and just don't do it. I don't take that photo and I don't post anything for others. (And hopefully I'm not the only one out there who experiences those dumb little thoughts born of insecurity and self-consciousness every now and then!)

I want this blog to be a completely transparent and honest and REAL representation of my daily life with my family. When we do get dressed, we wear mostly normal clothes, have a pretty average house, and my fingernails are never painted. We don't live in a swanky city. We stay inside our house reading books and playing quietly most days. We don't eat beautifully prepared lunches nor do we sip our milk from glass bottles with cute striped straws. My baby is constantly growing out of her hand-me-downs and my toddler loves wearing lots of over-sized accessories and, occasionally, a giraffe costume.

No apologies.

But guess what, I think all that can be and IS absolutely beautiful. I scroll through these posts and take in these images and nothing is more COOL to me than all this. I've been blogging (on and off) for a long, long time but I've never felt more proud of what this blog is and what's it's not than I do now.

You don't have to be hip to have a beautiful life- just the way it is.

Monday, December 1, 2014

bowling over thanksgiving break

We had so much fun spending the afternoon bowling and arcade-ing with the Kellys during the Thanksgiving break! 

Sunday, November 30, 2014

my hero says

(While motioning to Chas and I): "Come here, boy. Come here, little girl."

(As we're walking through the church parking lot): "I love you, cars!"

"I'm a frog! See my tail, mom?" (And then turns around and shakes her bum a little.)

(During my parent's birthday dinner, my dad held her in his arms and tipped her on her back so her head was lying in my mom's lap and she was looking up at my mom): "Happy birthday!...Backwards!"

As we're walking up the stairs from the basement, she decided to give every. single. step two kisses.

(While Chas was holding her in his arms before laying her down to bed): "All done. I have a little snooze now, Daddy."

"I'm a lobster!"

(As Chas is walking out of her room after putting her down for the night): "You're the best boy daddy in the whole world. I love you."

(During dinner): "So. How are you doing, mom?"

(While Chas was hugging her): "I love you SO much! Squeeze me tight, too."

"Once upon a time there was a little girl named Hero. And Hero went to a parking lot. The end."

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

being better

Now that I've been blogging again consistently for the past few weeks, I've been thinking a lot about documenting my children's lives in more meaningful ways and why that's important to me.

I think it's easy as a woman and a mother to become bogged down in thinking we have to do everything for our children and do it all really well. But what mother is capable of doing everything well? I do a good job of keeping our house clean and tidy, the dishes done, and the laundry washed. I really try to TALK lots and lots to my girls- and not like I'm talking to babies. I like talking to them like I'd talk to a friend- in a normal-pitched voice and with the expectation that they can understand me on some level. I also feel like I make an effort to listen to and validate the thoughts, worries, and experiences they have. I read lots and lots to them and always want them to know that I'm genuinely proud of them and crazy in love with them no matter what.

But there's also plenty I need to work on improving. I've never been good at having dinner prepared every night when Chas gets home. In fact, he was the one who made us pizza tonight- which isn't an unusual occurrence. He also does the majority of the grocery shopping.

*cough cough...Moving on.*

The point is I'm great at some things and not so great at other things- just like every other mama out there. I know the areas I could improve and I'm trying to take baby steps towards being better. Most importantly, I'm not beating myself up over those things I don't excel at. It doesn't ever feel good to tell yourself that you're a dummy who can't do anything right. So I don't. Instead, I pat myself on the back for all the things I am doing great at.

Here comes the part where I actually try to DO something a little better than I have been doing.

I have access to a nice camera AND know how to use it AND glean immense joy and satisfaction in making photographs. Instead of grabbing my iPhone to capture all those small, sweet moments that only I have the privilege of witnessing day in and day out as a mother, I'm using my "real" DSLR camera. I decided that my children deserve to benefit from my talents and they deserve to have their childhood documented better than I've been doing up until this point. And, what's more, taking the time to capture these images fills my heart with so much gratitude for the chance I have to be a stay-at-home mama. So really, everyone wins.

To anyone who's reading this, I hope you can feel inspired to really see your talents with eyes open wide and find a small way to allow your own family and children to benefit more fully from the beautiful gifts you've been blessed with as a woman and mother.