Baby Love

June 23, 2012

As if it wasn't awesome enough that we're finally back in CA, on Thursday I got a phone call from my sister-in-law Anna that went something like this:

"So we're on our way up to see my parents in Roseville and we would love to see you! It's just me and the boys - and you need to meet Parker!"

And then I responded with something like this:


So last night we joined Anna, her sister April, and their parents Jeanette and John for dinner and had some perfectly dimpled baby love time with Landon and Parker. Anna is seriously one of the most wonderful women I know - kind, strong, lovely, beautiful, and a great mother. We ADORE her.

Landon was a joy, as always. He showed off his superb coordination and rocked his new scooter around the neighborhood with Uncle Matthew. He and I played soccer and cleared the table together. He's such a little man already. He's such a joy. Parker was a tiny squishy love bug that I could not stop kissing and cooing over. Jeannette, John and April are kind, fun and great people to be around.

All around, a pretty stellar group. :)

Ah, my family. Loves of my life.

The Long and Winding Road

June 21, 2012


We made it.

We're in Roseville, CA breaking our massive road trip with a visit with my family for a couple weeks. It's so nice to arrive to a fully furnished house with air conditioning, food in the fridge, and the best family ever.

The photos above are from our beautiful camp spot the other night - central Oregon treated us right. :)

More to come.


Here we go

June 15, 2012

Beautiful print by Lisa Congdon

Well, here we go. 

Last Friday. Last weekend. Graduation. Family. Packing. Cleaning. Saying goodbye to Branches. Driving away from our little white house.

Kathy arrived last night, and so far we've planned about 100+ things to do once we're back in California. We are so thrilled to have finally arrived at this next level of transition - it's actually happening. 


The sun is out, and it's blue, and there isn't a single cloud in the whole sky. It's hard to not take it all as one big, wonderful reassurance that it's in the middle of this messy adventure, in all the unknown and risk - it's exactly where we're supposed to be.

Last weekend - commence!

Miss Clara

June 14, 2012

Last week I promised cuteness, and oh, how I deliver. 

Clara is such a sweetie! I'm so glad to have connected with Jen (Clara's mama) these past few weeks - they are the most darling family and Clara is the happiest little girl. 

And do I even need to say, photogenic? Yeah, she's a beauty. 

Here are just a few of my favorites - enjoy! 

The River Queen

June 12, 2012

Today Matthew, Numi, and I had a picnic down by the river. 
We said goodbye to our favorite place by enjoying our sandwiches and throwing sticks for Numi 
and barely making it out of there before the rain started to pour. 
Numi didn't mind the cold water, and our car reeks of wet dog as proof of his joy. 
I made a crown and declared that part of the river as ours. 
Goodbye river! 

On Going Home

June 10, 2012

Today started out in one way, and is ending in another.

I was mid-sentence, ranting about my thoughts on today's church topic, when my phone rang and we received the news that my Uncle David passed away.

He died this morning at 5:30am in the UC Davis Cancer Center after a grueling and sad journey with cancer.

We sat there on the side of the road and cried.

It wasn't a total surprise - sadly, this has been somewhat common protocol for our family members that have passed away. Cancer is one of the shittiest things out there, and we've watched my Mom, Grandparents, and now Uncle lose to this disease. David dealt with it for the last couple years, and is now finally done.

Today my heart has been so heavy. It's a sort of sadness that takes many forms - I'm sad that he's gone. I'm sad we weren't able to see him at the end. I'm sad for our family. I'm sad that he joins my Mom and Dad and so many others in a place that feels so far away from us.

I love this scene from Big Fish, where the dad is dying and his son brings him back to the river. It reminds me of Lewis' The Last Battle, where the children are running up that big green hill, and through the gates, and Reepicheep and Tumnus and all their loved ones and friends are there to greet them.

When dying becomes a going home of sorts, it suddenly isn't so dark and terrible and final. I truly hope that this is what dying is like.

We'll miss you Uncle David. In your honor, we'll drink a beer, listen to some Shania Twain, quote Austen Powers, tell some bad jokes, and love each other well. Say hi to Mom for me.

And really, you're with Jesus now - so party on.


March of the Cupcakes

June 8, 2012

Happy Friday!

Long week? Consider the above cupcakes. Chocolate Coconut and Strawberry Champagne. There, don't you feel better? And no calories too. You're welcome.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend! I'm shooting a wedding with Jordan today and then continuing my march towards total madness. Did I mention we're moving in a matter of days?



P.S. The above cupcakes are from an adorable shoot I did with a mother and her 13 month old daughter Clara...I'll share that cuteness soon. Sweet little Clara, frosting face, flowers, smiles - you will openly swoon. :)

The Birthday Crepe Cake

June 6, 2012

So this year, the birthday cake process was a complicated one. 

When making birthday treats for anyone but myself, I am fairly fearless when it comes to experimenting, trying out new recipes or being extravagant. 

For myself...I become an indecisive and timid baker. 

So at first, I wanted to make this cake. Gorgeous, raw, lovely and fresh. It sounded perfect for me. 

But then Matthew reminded me of the last time I tried a raw/vegan baking experiment. It was good...but not a terribly fun experience. "And it would be great if this cake...tasted good." Matthew's not a fan of raw...

(But I'm going to make that cake. I think it looks divine.)

Which led us to this cake. This looks crazy fun to make. And Matthew was really excited about this one.

But gah, the thought of using 7 sticks of butter, 7 cups of was the opposite of my raw beauty cake. I know it's a birthday cake, but geez...this recipe could kill someone. 

Which finally led us to our little crepe cake beauty. She's delicate, sweet, airy, feminine and celebratory. She's simple to whip up, and doesn't actually require any baking. I know, I'm a cheater. 

Start with strawberries and a delicious chocolatey nutella-esque spread.

Then get some help from Julia. We used the savory crepe recipe to balance out the sweetness of the choco spread.

Find a gorgeous piano playing genius to whip up about thirty 6" crepes.

While he cooks those up, you start the layering process. Yes - each crepe gets it's own layer of goodness.

After awhile, it starts to get pretty tall...

 Then, top with fresh strawberries.

Cut into cake and revel in it's deliciousness. 

Crepe Recipe / Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking
Cocoa Almond Spread and Organic Strawberries from Trader Joes

Many Thanks & Sandwiches

June 5, 2012

Photo by Kelly Pratt of Stately Sandwiches via Anthology
Hi friends! My absence yesterday was a sign of celebration on our part - it was my BIRTHDAY! I spent the day with Matthew, making a really lovely crepe birthday cake (did you see that pic on FB!?) and generally being pretty low key. Thanks for all the emails, messages and cards - they really made my day. :)

I've got a long sentimental post rattling around my brain about turning 27, moving, life change, friends, cake, and gratitude. But right now I'm enjoying some coffee time in a downtown cafe, utilizing MR's computer while he reads a large book of sheet music (yeah, he reads it like a book), and having fun surfing the web.

So for today, I thought I'd share with you a really interesting and delicious looking project - Stately Sandwiches, brought to us all by Kelly Pratt. Click through and read about this journey - it's sounds way cool. Does it come to anyone's surprise that The California is my favorite?

Enjoy your tuesday!

And now I want a sandwich.

Celebration and Green Things

June 2, 2012

 Well, here we are on this lovely, blustery, sunny, rainy, and thunderstormy Saturday. We are basking in the glow of Matthew's successful defense of his 129 page thesis - he is now officially a Master. :) It is such a huge accomplishment, and we feel like our purpose for coming to Spokane is coming to a close.

This morning we took a walk around our neighborhood - one minute is was raining, then blazing sun, then dark purple clouds - just to enjoy the route we've taken for the past year, and to talk about our crazy time here in Spokane. I brought my camera along to capture some of our daily Springtime sights that bring us much joy.

These may look like ordinary sights to those of you who live with green things all the time. But for us, it's like Christmas - flowers! green leaves! trees! grass! - things are so green.


June 1, 2012

So, wow, it's June. I'm sitting here, shaking my head, not really sure how it came so fast.

I remember January, me in a puddle of depression and wanting so desperately to move away from Spokane.

February brought more snow, a Valentine's Day where MR had to work all night, and more uncertainty and longing for a new home.

March, well that month was a kick in the ass. MR turned 27, and two days later we were told that he's been accepted to UCSB with a full ride. I was sick the entire month, plus some. Thesis madness was starting to take hold. And MR was still music-directing for the Spokane Children's Theatre. But March did bring a trip to see our beloved Hoskings in Ventura - a lovely gift that helped us get through the nastiness of the Spokane winter.

April was...busy. Thesis. Work. Looking for our new home. Lots o' stuff.

May flew by. Literally, flew. right. by.

And now, somehow we're here in June. I'm turning 27 in a couple days, then MR graduates, then we celebrate one last time at Manito Tap House, and then we're out of here.

I am so thankful.


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