Monday, February 29, 2016

February Photo Project - Photo A Day - Day 29

"Can you all jump in the air to celebrate the end of the photo project?" and then she told me that she didn't want it to be done, that it had been fun. And that blesses me!

There were seasons of being oblivious to the camera, or the hating it phase, and the indifferent one, but this year they were all pretty on board. So they leapt, which was also pretty fitting, as today is the 29th of February; a leap year.

Thank you so much for following along and glimpsing into our life.


(As in years past, I've decided to do the February photo project and take a photo a day. It never hurts to have a bit of discipline and with all our transitions my creativity has been sorely lacking, so I'm looking forward to jumping back in. No real rules, just our life documented a little. Maybe there'll be captions, maybe not, there could be the occasional phone photo thrown in on busier days and sometimes it may be hard to narrow things down and there could be bonus photos. I'd love for you to follow along, or even join in. Let me know!)

Sunday, February 28, 2016

February Photo Project - Photo A Day - Day 28

As of today this little girl is officially 10; double digits, a decade. It is hard to believe she has been in our lives for ten years, but we are so grateful she has. She brings her own unique craziness to our family (from her daddy's side :P ) and we love her to bits. I cannot even begin to imagine what her life will look like in another ten years but I can't wait to follow along and support her along the way...don't think it will be boring.


(As in years past, I've decided to do the February photo project and take a photo a day. It never hurts to have a bit of discipline and with all our transitions my creativity has been sorely lacking, so I'm looking forward to jumping back in. No real rules, just our life documented a little. Maybe there'll be captions, maybe not, there could be the occasional phone photo thrown in on busier days and sometimes it may be hard to narrow things down and there could be bonus photos. I'd love for you to follow along, or even join in. Let me know!)

Saturday, February 27, 2016

February Photo Project - Photo A Day - Day 27

There's a birthday tomorrow, so there was baking today.


(As in years past, I've decided to do the February photo project and take a photo a day. It never hurts to have a bit of discipline and with all our transitions my creativity has been sorely lacking, so I'm looking forward to jumping back in. No real rules, just our life documented a little. Maybe there'll be captions, maybe not, there could be the occasional phone photo thrown in on busier days and sometimes it may be hard to narrow things down and there could be bonus photos. I'd love for you to follow along, or even join in. Let me know!)

Friday, February 26, 2016

February Photo Project - Photo A Day - Day 26

A lot happens in our car; games are played, songs are sung...there is a ton of bickering! They really are such great buddies but a confined space can get old. Still, I know I'll miss these every day moments and so I choose to record them.


(As in years past, I've decided to do the February photo project and take a photo a day. It never hurts to have a bit of discipline and with all our transitions my creativity has been sorely lacking, so I'm looking forward to jumping back in. No real rules, just our life documented a little. Maybe there'll be captions, maybe not, there could be the occasional phone photo thrown in on busier days and sometimes it may be hard to narrow things down and there could be bonus photos. I'd love for you to follow along, or even join in. Let me know!)

Thursday, February 25, 2016

February Photo Project - Photo A Day - Day 25

I love the bond each of our children has with our dog, and I love how far he has come in the year that we have had him. Fetching is a new found skill that we all love, and his devotion and attention to whomever is throwing the ball is ridiculously adorable. Almost makes up for the gallon of milk he destroyed in the car yesterday...kind of...


(As in years past, I've decided to do the February photo project and take a photo a day. It never hurts to have a bit of discipline and with all our transitions my creativity has been sorely lacking, so I'm looking forward to jumping back in. No real rules, just our life documented a little. Maybe there'll be captions, maybe not, there could be the occasional phone photo thrown in on busier days and sometimes it may be hard to narrow things down and there could be bonus photos. I'd love for you to follow along, or even join in. Let me know!)

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

February Photo Project - Photo A Day - Day 24

I look at the world differently, depending on which lens is on my camera. Today, as we took the dog out, I grabbed my 105mm 2.8 micro, which is great for close up details. Instead of looking at our 'big picture' as I might if I had my zoom lens with me, I was keeping an eye open for interesting flowers, for example, when Bryttain, who'd slowed down to look with me found a ladybird, or ladybug as the Americans call them. I had exactly the lens I needed to get the shot, it was great teamwork :)


(As in years past, I've decided to do the February photo project and take a photo a day. It never hurts to have a bit of discipline and with all our transitions my creativity has been sorely lacking, so I'm looking forward to jumping back in. No real rules, just our life documented a little. Maybe there'll be captions, maybe not, there could be the occasional phone photo thrown in on busier days and sometimes it may be hard to narrow things down and there could be bonus photos. I'd love for you to follow along, or even join in. Let me know!)

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

February Photo Project - Photo A Day - Day 23

They grow up too quickly. This is my baby girl, but she's 8 now; there's no baby left.


(As in years past, I've decided to do the February photo project and take a photo a day. It never hurts to have a bit of discipline and with all our transitions my creativity has been sorely lacking, so I'm looking forward to jumping back in. No real rules, just our life documented a little. Maybe there'll be captions, maybe not, there could be the occasional phone photo thrown in on busier days and sometimes it may be hard to narrow things down and there could be bonus photos. I'd love for you to follow along, or even join in. Let me know!)

Monday, February 22, 2016

February Photo Project - Photo A Day - Day 22

These three. My heart!


(As in years past, I've decided to do the February photo project and take a photo a day. It never hurts to have a bit of discipline and with all our transitions my creativity has been sorely lacking, so I'm looking forward to jumping back in. No real rules, just our life documented a little. Maybe there'll be captions, maybe not, there could be the occasional phone photo thrown in on busier days and sometimes it may be hard to narrow things down and there could be bonus photos. I'd love for you to follow along, or even join in. Let me know!)

Sunday, February 21, 2016

February Photo Project - Photo A Day - Day 21

Some days when the kids are extra tired, probably because they had too much fun at their sleepovers, the bickering can get out of hand. The whining isn't too much fun either. Some of those days are extra long and you don't have the chance or motivation to pick up your camera at all, and at the end of the day you have to hunt for a last minute photo and maybe it is more of a snapshot, but it's a precious memory too. To find them like this restores hope again and is wonderfully sweet, knowing they truly love each other and want to be together.


(As in years past, I've decided to do the February photo project and take a photo a day. It never hurts to have a bit of discipline and with all our transitions my creativity has been sorely lacking, so I'm looking forward to jumping back in. No real rules, just our life documented a little. Maybe there'll be captions, maybe not, there could be the occasional phone photo thrown in on busier days and sometimes it may be hard to narrow things down and there could be bonus photos. I'd love for you to follow along, or even join in. Let me know!)

Saturday, February 20, 2016

February Photo Project - Photo A Day - Day 20

Another day and more flowers. Simple pleasures.


(As in years past, I've decided to do the February photo project and take a photo a day. It never hurts to have a bit of discipline and with all our transitions my creativity has been sorely lacking, so I'm looking forward to jumping back in. No real rules, just our life documented a little. Maybe there'll be captions, maybe not, there could be the occasional phone photo thrown in on busier days and sometimes it may be hard to narrow things down and there could be bonus photos. I'd love for you to follow along, or even join in. Let me know!)

Friday, February 19, 2016

February Photo Project - Photo A Day - Day 19

Then there are days that are wet and gloomy and we spend way too much time indoors.


(As in years past, I've decided to do the February photo project and take a photo a day. It never hurts to have a bit of discipline and with all our transitions my creativity has been sorely lacking, so I'm looking forward to jumping back in. No real rules, just our life documented a little. Maybe there'll be captions, maybe not, there could be the occasional phone photo thrown in on busier days and sometimes it may be hard to narrow things down and there could be bonus photos. I'd love for you to follow along, or even join in. Let me know!)

Thursday, February 18, 2016

February Photo Project - Photo A Day - Day 18

Burn energy. Have fun. Repeat many times. Cousins.


(As in years past, I've decided to do the February photo project and take a photo a day. It never hurts to have a bit of discipline and with all our transitions my creativity has been sorely lacking, so I'm looking forward to jumping back in. No real rules, just our life documented a little. Maybe there'll be captions, maybe not, there could be the occasional phone photo thrown in on busier days and sometimes it may be hard to narrow things down and there could be bonus photos. I'd love for you to follow along, or even join in. Let me know!)

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

February Photo Project - Photo A Day - Day 17

Our Asia!


(As in years past, I've decided to do the February photo project and take a photo a day. It never hurts to have a bit of discipline and with all our transitions my creativity has been sorely lacking, so I'm looking forward to jumping back in. No real rules, just our life documented a little. Maybe there'll be captions, maybe not, there could be the occasional phone photo thrown in on busier days and sometimes it may be hard to narrow things down and there could be bonus photos. I'd love for you to follow along, or even join in. Let me know!)

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

February Photo Project - Photo A Day - Day 16

This doggie is loved! We've had a rough couple of days with him, which culminated in a 10pm trip to an emergency vet last night (with a 2:30am return) but he seems to be on the mend. We just can't imagine life without him at this point. May there be many more cuddles for many years to come.


(As in years past, I've decided to do the February photo project and take a photo a day. It never hurts to have a bit of discipline and with all our transitions my creativity has been sorely lacking, so I'm looking forward to jumping back in. No real rules, just our life documented a little. Maybe there'll be captions, maybe not, there could be the occasional phone photo thrown in on busier days and sometimes it may be hard to narrow things down and there could be bonus photos. I'd love for you to follow along, or even join in. Let me know!)

Monday, February 15, 2016

February Photo Project - Photo A Day - Day 15

Today was the most perfect beach weather. It was the first really nice day of the season; 76-79 degrees (for Brits that 23-26 degrees C), with just a gentle breeze, so we headed out with another couple of Moms with kids and dogs in tow, to Muir Beach.  It's not always this nice this early in the year...but I do love it when it is.


(As in years past, I've decided to do the February photo project and take a photo a day. It never hurts to have a bit of discipline and with all our transitions my creativity has been sorely lacking, so I'm looking forward to jumping back in. No real rules, just our life documented a little. Maybe there'll be captions, maybe not, there could be the occasional phone photo thrown in on busier days and sometimes it may be hard to narrow things down and there could be bonus photos. I'd love for you to follow along, or even join in. Let me know!)

Sunday, February 14, 2016

February Photo Project - Photo A Day - Day 14

February 14th, Valentine's Day. I'm afraid I'm one of those people who happens to think it's an over commercialized holiday, I try to make it fun for the children but as a couple we don't feel pressure to prove our love on this day. Every day is about loving each other, and chocolates or flowers or a fancy over priced meal don't prove anything. All that said though, I think it apt that today's photo is of the man I love. There is nobody else I would rather share life with and I couldn't possibly imagine anyone else in his place. We fit together and work together and life is better when we are together. So I look forward to many more non cheesy Valentine's Days and all of the real days that show our love.


(As in years past, I've decided to do the February photo project and take a photo a day. It never hurts to have a bit of discipline and with all our transitions my creativity has been sorely lacking, so I'm looking forward to jumping back in. No real rules, just our life documented a little. Maybe there'll be captions, maybe not, there could be the occasional phone photo thrown in on busier days and sometimes it may be hard to narrow things down and there could be bonus photos. I'd love for you to follow along, or even join in. Let me know!)

Saturday, February 13, 2016

February Photo Project - Photo A Day - Day 13

The boy's birthday celebrations continued with a trip to the pool with his cousin. Now when you live in California there are a lot of outdoor pools but many of them don't open until after March or April and a lot of our local ones, it seems, are for serious swimmers and not for recreation or fun. So back to Marin it was, where they all had a blast. Sadly this one just doesn't know how to enjoy herself :P


(As in years past, I've decided to do the February photo project and take a photo a day. It never hurts to have a bit of discipline and with all our transitions my creativity has been sorely lacking, so I'm looking forward to jumping back in. No real rules, just our life documented a little. Maybe there'll be captions, maybe not, there could be the occasional phone photo thrown in on busier days and sometimes it may be hard to narrow things down and there could be bonus photos. I'd love for you to follow along, or even join in. Let me know!)

Friday, February 12, 2016

February Photo Project - Photo A Day - Day 12

There's nothing like a good friend. I'm so glad my girl has friends she has grown up with who she genuinely loves. They laugh together and plan together (and beg for sleepovers) and affection comes easily. It's not something that can be forced, or replaced, or that just happens with acquaintances met along the way. These are the friendships cherished and missed across the miles and the reuniting is always sweet.


(As in years past, I've decided to do the February photo project and take a photo a day. It never hurts to have a bit of discipline and with all our transitions my creativity has been sorely lacking, so I'm looking forward to jumping back in. No real rules, just our life documented a little. Maybe there'll be captions, maybe not, there could be the occasional phone photo thrown in on busier days and sometimes it may be hard to narrow things down and there could be bonus photos. I'd love for you to follow along, or even join in. Let me know!)

Thursday, February 11, 2016

February Photo Project - Photo A Day - Day 11

All my kids are little artists, but my big girl, she's in her element making and doing. Her happy place is being creative. This is one mess I don't really mind, as long as it gets picked up eventually :P


(As in years past, I've decided to do the February photo project and take a photo a day. It never hurts to have a bit of discipline and with all our transitions my creativity has been sorely lacking, so I'm looking forward to jumping back in. No real rules, just our life documented a little. Maybe there'll be captions, maybe not, there could be the occasional phone photo thrown in on busier days and sometimes it may be hard to narrow things down and there could be bonus photos. I'd love for you to follow along, or even join in. Let me know!)

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

February Photo Project - Photo A Day - Day 10

Twelve years ago a wonderful baby boy was born, and my motherhood started in that moment. A drastic haircut, and all of a sudden I see an almost teenager instead of a little boy. He seems a little more sure of himself. At dinner tonight (Chinese at Ping's at his request) my sister-in-law mentioned something about him being a young man, he replied, without skipping a beat

'I'd rather not be called a young man, I'd rather be an old child!'

He said it seriously and then he flashed his smile with a twinkle in his eye. That's my boy and I love him!


(As in years past, I've decided to do the February photo project and take a photo a day. It never hurts to have a bit of discipline and with all our transitions my creativity has been sorely lacking, so I'm looking forward to jumping back in. No real rules, just our life documented a little. Maybe there'll be captions, maybe not, there could be the occasional phone photo thrown in on busier days and sometimes it may be hard to narrow things down and there could be bonus photos. I'd love for you to follow along, or even join in. Let me know!)

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

February Project - Photo A Day - Day 9

Daddy's back with us! He was in England for over ten days and we missed him terribly, but late tonight we headed to the airport for his long anticipated return. We were all pretty excited, but the kids were especially cute watching out for him. As they finally spotted him, jumping up and down and squealing, it was all I could do to stop them racing through the 'no entry' security doors. Feels good to be back together again, it's as it should be.


(As in years past, I've decided to do the February photo project and take a photo a day. It never hurts to have a bit of discipline and with all our transitions my creativity has been sorely lacking, so I'm looking forward to jumping back in. No real rules, just our life documented a little. Maybe there'll be captions, maybe not, there could be the occasional phone photo thrown in on busier days and sometimes it may be hard to narrow things down and there could be bonus photos. I'd love for you to follow along, or even join in. Let me know!)

Monday, February 8, 2016

February Project - Photo A Day - Day 8

She loves pretty things. She is always hunting for flowers and I wonder how long until she grows out of that? I want to be able to remember these little things, like her bitten nails which in no time, I have no doubt, will be beautifully manicured. These days are fleeting and precious, and the details are worth capturing, always!



(As in years past, I've decided to do the February photo project and take a photo a day. It never hurts to have a bit of discipline and with all our transitions my creativity has been sorely lacking, so I'm looking forward to jumping back in. No real rules, just our life documented a little. Maybe there'll be captions, maybe not, there could be the occasional phone photo thrown in on busier days and sometimes it may be hard to narrow things down and there could be bonus photos. I'd love for you to follow along, or even join in. Let me know!)

Sunday, February 7, 2016

February Project - Photo A Day - Day 7

We had such wonderful weather today. It is amazing how much the sun can lift my mood. This is my littlest, although not nearly as little as she used to be (sigh) hiding inside a structure at the Berkeley Adventure Playground; the light was just right and she looked so pretty, that I just had to grab her attention for a second.


(As in years past, I've decided to do the February photo project and take a photo a day. It never hurts to have a bit of discipline and with all our transitions my creativity has been sorely lacking, so I'm looking forward to jumping back in. No real rules, just our life documented a little. Maybe there'll be captions, maybe not, there could be the occasional phone photo thrown in on busier days and sometimes it may be hard to narrow things down and there could be bonus photos. I'd love for you to follow along, or even join in. Let me know!)

Saturday, February 6, 2016

February Project - Photo A Day - Day 6

It's been a long week with Daddy gone and today was meltdown central. I think a combination of tiredness and an inability to articulate emotions, all combined, multiplied by three kids, and the results were not pretty. Towards the end of the day, much later than I would have liked, we headed out to Buchanan Dog Beach. It had been such a nice day, but we were losing light fast. As they headed down from the main path to the shore's edge I watched their silhouettes.

Finally they seemed to have made peace with each other and I breathed a sigh of relief. The countdown is on until we are all reunited again and it can't come soon enough.


(As in years past, I've decided to do the February photo project and take a photo a day. It never hurts to have a bit of discipline and with all our transitions my creativity has been sorely lacking, so I'm looking forward to jumping back in. No real rules, just our life documented a little. Maybe there'll be captions, maybe not, there could be the occasional phone photo thrown in on busier days and sometimes it may be hard to narrow things down and there could be bonus photos. I'd love for you to follow along, or even join in. Let me know!)

Friday, February 5, 2016

February Project - Photo A Day - Day 5

Even big boys sometimes get to bed too late and are woken too early. I seriously can't remember though, the last time he actually napped during the day, it took me back to sweet toddler times. Only a short twenty minutes, but he woke up with the fresh perspective he needed.

Taken with iphone, because the best camera is the one you have with you in the moment.


(As in years past, I've decided to do the February photo project and take a photo a day. It never hurts to have a bit of discipline and with all our transitions my creativity has been sorely lacking, so I'm looking forward to jumping back in. No real rules, just our life documented a little. Maybe there'll be captions, maybe not, there could be the occasional phone photo thrown in on busier days and sometimes it may be hard to narrow things down and there could be bonus photos. I'd love for you to follow along, or even join in. Let me know!)

Thursday, February 4, 2016

February Project - Photo A Day - Day 4

Such a sweet friendship. These girls have been friends since they can ever remember and there's something about those types of friendships; the safety and security and feeling of complete ease around each other. It really can't be beat. Love simple, precious moments like these.


(As in years past, I've decided to do the February photo project and take a photo a day. It never hurts to have a bit of discipline and with all our transitions my creativity has been sorely lacking, so I'm looking forward to jumping back in. No real rules, just our life documented a little. Maybe there'll be captions, maybe not, there could be the occasional phone photo thrown in on busier days and sometimes it may be hard to narrow things down and there could be bonus photos. I'd love for you to follow along, or even join in. Let me know!)

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

February Project - Photo A Day - Day 3

We all miss Daddy terribly when he is gone. At times like these I am so incredibly grateful for technology and the ability to Facetime, it's a highlight of the day and makes this world seem a little bit smaller.


(As in years past, I've decided to do the February photo project and take a photo a day. It never hurts to have a bit of discipline and with all our transitions my creativity has been sorely lacking, so I'm looking forward to jumping back in. No real rules, just our life documented a little. Maybe there'll be captions, maybe not, there could be the occasional phone photo thrown in on busier days and sometimes it may be hard to narrow things down and there could be bonus photos. I'd love for you to follow along, or even join in. Let me know!)

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

February Project - Photo A Day - Day 2

As in years past, I've decided to do the February photo project and take a photo a day. It never hurts to have a bit of discipline and with all our transitions my creativity has been sorely lacking, so I'm looking forward to jumping back in. No real rules, just our life documented a little. Maybe there'll be captions, maybe not, there could be the occasional phone photo thrown in on busier days and sometimes it may be hard to narrow things down and there could be bonus photos. I'd love for you to follow along, or even join in. Let me know!



And then there's this guy; Scout our beloved puggle! He's such a happy doggie, who covers a ton of ground at great speed and with great glee. He makes us all smile with his perfect mix of crazy outdoors and couch potato indoors, he most definitely is a part of the family.

Monday, February 1, 2016

February Project - Photo A Day - Day 1

As in years past, I've decided to do the February photo project and take a photo a day. It never hurts to have a bit of discipline and with all our transitions my creativity has been sorely lacking, so I'm looking forward to jumping back in. No real rules, just our life documented a little. Maybe there'll be captions, maybe not, there could be the occasional phone photo thrown in on busier days and sometimes it may be hard to narrow things down and there could be bonus photos. I'd love for you to follow along, or even join in. Let me know!

This beautiful child, my middle, my first daughter. Most obliging to pose for Mom in front of the camera. Thanks Bryt!

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

January 2016 - Long Overdue Update

Life doesn’t always go as we planned or maybe hoped for. Our last eighteen months have been far from what we expected. A great job meant an international move and starting over, which emotionally was, initially, incredibly hard. Then, slowly, finding a new normal and feeling hope again…only to have it all ripped away. The job was cut, and our new life came crashing down around us. We returned to the life we had left, except that we had ended that life; the things that had been part of that season were gone and we literally have had to start over, again, from scratch.

I won’t lie, it has been hard. I have had moments of complete desperation, feeling utter hopelessness. The nice Christian word for it is ‘challenging’, but honestly that doesn’t even begin to describe what we have been through. Were it not for the kindness of family, we would have been homeless. It is hard to accept, or talk about and I was hoping to write again from ‘the other side’, looking back with it all making much more sense. But that place seems to still be just beyond the current horizon.

Maybe it will help others to hear from ‘in’ this journey, not once it has been completed. I know that this is not a punishment; I know that God does not play favorites; I also know there are consequences for decisions made by us and others, that the actions of others can have repercussions for us. Sometimes things just happen because we live in a world that is far from perfect and there isn’t a God controlling everything that happens, there is free will, but that means that bad things can happen and He weeps too, when they do!

Sometimes when I don’t have the words left to express what I am feeling, a song will. There is a song by Casting Crowns that speaks to a little of what we have lived

‘I was sure by now
God you would have reached down
And wiped our tears away
Stepped in and saved the day
But once again, I say “Amen”, and it’s still raining

As the thunder rolls
I barely hear Your whisper through the rain
“I’m with you”
And as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise the God who gives
And takes away

And I’ll praise You in this storm
And I will lift my hands
For You are who You are
No matter where I am
And every tear I’ve cried
You hold in Your hand
You never left my side
And though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm’

There were moments when I was not praising, I was just barely holding on, wondering what on earth, and why? But He uses it all. Ultimately we will be stronger for going through this season and surviving, we will be more compassionate, more flexible.

The words from another song have struck me on several occasions

‘Your world’s not falling apart it’s falling into place…’

Oh how I hope this is true for us, because I felt like our world fell apart.

It is so very hard to not have answers, to live in a state of uncertainty, not knowing what is next,  no plan, no map with the directions to follow. The day to day can still be difficult, but the good news is I am well past the initial heartache and feelings of desperation and am hopeful again. We are not stuck where we were, we were not abandoned and there will be a way forward, even if that path is currently shrouded in fog.

I took this photo yesterday, the first deliberate photo in far too long, just because it struck me as simple but beautiful. I decided to look up the symbolism of feathers and guess what…

A feather symbolizes a new beginning - a new life ahead. A feather symbolizes hope.

How perfect!