Birthday | Ruby Turns ONE

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A look at Ruby Rose’s intimate garden party.

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Menu: fresh fruit, sandwich bar, panzanella salad, zuppa toscana (hearty soup on the stove), homemade blueberry and apple galettes (previous picture), and lemon blueberry cake. Can you tell blueberries are her favorite?

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Ruby Rose’s first birthday cake.

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Everyone was able to take home a flower planting kit. Kit included: tin pot, beach rocks, soil, and a flower packet.

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My whole world.

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Thanks to my sweet niece, she captured this beauty and I am forever thankful. (She also captured the previous photo on my big camera too!) “Happy birthday to you! Happy birthday to you! Happy birthday dear Ruby…”


Just a little taste.

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Filled with blueberries. Obviously.

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In her own little cake devouring world.

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I could kiss that messy face all day everyday.

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These girls are my girls’ favorites. Minus one cousin.

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She was spoiled to say the least.

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She was all about it. The joyful squeals were endless.

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Her beloved ball that big sister is hijacking. That $2 ball was the present winner for sure.

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Large gift bags keep kiddos occupied just as much as boxes.

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While the one-year-old napped the big girls acted out their teenage years. Heaven help us.

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Awake, happy, and ready to ride her new tricycle!

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Radio Flyer twinning. How cute is this?

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And after all the guests left they rode bikes together, shared an ice cream cone together, and loved on each other. These two are the sweetest sisters. It was a perfect ending to Ruby’s birthday festivities.

Camping | Valentine’s Day Weekend

An extended look at our amazing Valentine’s Day weekend up at O’neil Park!

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This ain’t her first rodeo.

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Exploring after we set up camp.

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We found a park! All I think of when I see this photo is, “Oh boy! Oh boy! OH BOY!” Can you tell she loves the slide?

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Snug as bugs.

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She woke up with the sun and then declared at breakfast that she wants to live here.

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I’m not one for posting photos of myself. Especially right when I wake-up, but I’ve been reminded that my girls will enjoy seeing them. This one’s for you, two.

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Hiking back is always funner. Especially when it’s downhill.

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I’d say the excitement is over camping, but its really about her first bite of pretzel bread.

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She rode her bike everywhere and we loved following along.

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Ruby got to ride like a big girl! I think we’ll have to invest in another soon.

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We climb trees too.

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Who’s this big kid and what has she done with our baby?

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I love her love for nature. She dives in head first. Literally. Her roots are not that brown, folks!

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Jump! It’s what you do when you hang with a toddler. Ruby approves.

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My shadow.

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This chicky and her messy bun did not want to leave, but we promised to return soon. She’s talked about putting up the tent everyday since we left. Girl, has got priorities! And much like her momma, camping is near the top of that list.

For Ruby | Number One

You are a true joy, Ruby Rose. You’re approaching seven months old (How is that possible!?) and your little personality is becoming bigger than life. You’ve been teething the past week and not quite as giggly as usual, BUT, I figured out what makes you laugh endlessly. Eskimo kisses. Eskimos kisses is the answer to get you to chuckle uncontrollably. Not sure if it’s because your nose is ticklish or if you find it super hilarious that my face is so close to yours, but whatever it is, it is music to our ears.

Elephant shoes.

For Stella | Number Five

A lot has happened since my last post. It’s been seven months. Yikes! You became a big sister and moved from Okinawa, Japan (the only home you’ve ever known) to California, USA. Your world has literally been flipped upside down and you’ve handled it like a champ! You’re growing stronger and getting feistier by the minute! You talk a lot. And when I say “a lot” I mean A LOT. I was reminded yesterday by a sweet prayer you said over dinner that I need to start writing your words and actions down again. Fingers crossed I make it a habit for you and (now) your sister again.

“Dear Jesus, Once upon a time, dreams come true. The End. Amen.” -Stella Sky

Elephant shoes.

For Stella | Number Four

During snack time today you asked, “So, you wanna amen?” My Momma heart burst with joy. “Of course, sweetheart. We can definitely thank Jesus for your strawberries and veggie sticks.”

Your Daddy and I so admire your childlike faith and we pray it never leaves. 

Elephant shoes. 

For Stella | Number Three

For the past week you have attempted to save the bubbles from entering the drain after bath time. It may be one of the funniest things I’ve ever witnessed. You are one determined little girl. Thankfully, you don’t take it too hard when they eventually enter the drain. You simply wave good-bye and say, “See ya, yater!”

Elephant shoes.

For Stella | Number Two

Today you said, “Sister.” It melted my heart. You’ve also started saying, “Oh, my!” It’s quite adorable. I should also probably add that I simply love when you say the word, “Elbow.” I can’t describe why. It may just be a mom thing. Whatever it is, I can’t get enough.

Elephant shoes.

For Stella | Number One

As the days pass in your sweet imaginative little life, the pressure to remember your little quirks is becoming unbearable. Too many sweet moments have taken place and I fear I’m losing track. As a mom, I know I need to write these things down so here we are. For you my dear daughter, I shall start to write big and little moments I don’t want to forget. Forgive me now, for I fail at blogging. If I should fail to write something down, remember it is always in my heart; forever treasured.

Today, while your tearful pregnant Momma dreaded the coming hours when we would drop your Daddy off for a month away, you so graciously gave me your pacifier and comforted me. You gave up your most prized possession and lovingly asked if I was ok. I couldn’t be more grateful for your tender spirit.

Elephant shoes.


The mother stepped out of the parked car unconsciously going through a checklist in her head. She unbuckled her daughter from her car seat as she simultaneously put the “Be a Good Mommy” checklist into action. They held hands as they walked through the parking lot. The mother watched for cars while the child trusted her mom unaware of the possible dangers. They entered the sandy beach area. The mother unwillingly loosened the grip of her daughter’s hand and released her to adventure. As the confident daughter shuffled through the sand, the mother scanned a few steps ahead of her daughter. The mother was ready to pounce at any danger that may lay ahead. The daughter neared the edge of the sea. The mother’s heart stopped. The daughter looked back with grin and the mother’s heart began to beat again. A tantrum occurred. No doubt due to the mother pulling her daughter a few feet away from the water. The tantrum withered and the adventure continued. They collected shells, watched the sun set, rinsed their feet in the warm ocean and eventually headed home. On the way home, the mother began to playback their beach excursion questioning every move she made. Did she keep her daughter safe whilst having fun? Her thoughts took off like a rabbit being chased by a dog. Eventually her thoughts slowed in pace and landed on the subject of influence. How is she influencing her daughter? Is she making a good impact? Or is it so bad that her daughter will need therapy later? The thoughts continued to drag on until she remembered that little Popeye grin peering at her alongside the salty water. She herself grinned and took a pause from her thoughts to mentally photograph the moment. The mother realized that in these precious younger years, the child is the one who is doing the influencing. Her daughter is a sweet reminder to live life to fullest without “Be the best!” pressures. To eat ice cream out of the carton and jump in a pool with your clothes still on. Her daughter’s time will come when she looks back on childhood memories and be strongly influenced by her mother’s love. For now, they’ll jump on the bed and color abstract pictures not caring about the ticking clock in the other room. The mother will also attempt to not worry. A promise she’ll never be able to keep.


The old man rose from grabbing the tightly wrapped newspaper off the driveway wondering how many more times he’ll be able to accomplish such a feat. He shuffled along, eying his beloved rocking chair staged perfectly on the clean wrap-around porch. He settled in nicely as the chair creaked with excitement to have its owner home. His bright-eyes captured birds flying in the distance and an overflowing rose bush that needed trimming. He wrote himself a mental note: Clip roses. Make bouquet. Pull the moves on wifey. He ended his note with a frisky grin and remembered the newspaper that was clinched tightly in his left hand. He unwrapped the newspaper, not fearing the old cracked rubber band. To his surprise an envelope fell onto his lap. His surname was written on the center with no return address in sight. Immediate excitement rose and curiosity was getting the better of him. He called for his wife while he opened the envelope. Enclosed was a piece of paper wrapped around five twenty-dollar bills. The paper was blank. His wife emerged from the house carrying a warm cup of water with lemon. He looked up at her with tears welling. His eyes spoke to hers. “How did they know we were in need?” Tears streamed from her face as her persistence grew weary in identifying the sender. They embraced feeling thankful. Thankful for the gift wrapped in newspaper.