When I was traveling in Australia… Tasmania to be exact! There was the sweetest lady I met and she asked about our dog and I told her I would post some photos of him. So here ya go! These are for you!
Lola and her bear. She still loves on him. He still follows her around and waits for her to drop something to eat. Or licks any extra off her cheeks.
Since my husband travels for work I didn’t have a camera cause he would have to pack up all the gear. I am excited to get a new camera and can start taking photos again of our day to day. Still figuring it out though! I got the Canon 6D. I will do a more extensive review but I am liking it so far and getting to know it. I also use the Canon lens 24-70. It’s by far the best lens we’ve shot with. Sharp photos and the zoom is great. For these pictures I used this Sigma lens 50mm lens.
Every year our neighbors prune and trim the branches of their cherry tree. And every year a very ambitious branch grows long and stretches over to our side of the fence. Now I’m not a huge cherry fan. One too many run-ins with half of a worm… But these birdies love these tasty treats. And so does Collin, who confirmed, their hasn’t been one worm yet in this year’s pickings. Should I give it another try? Or better yet the real question is: Is it fair game when the cherries are on my side of the fence? : D
#eyespy Cherries with a side of Doritos. heehee!
Circle blanket: Brickyard Buffalo Photo Actions: Totally Rad Actions (oh snap + get faded summer)
With three girls and a boy, it is pretty incredible to witness how different each little soul is. How they are born with different ways to show love and be loved. With Lola, her love language includes hugs and quality time. To fall asleep I have to be laying by her and she’s a teddy bear that wants snuggles as much as possible. She loves to sit at the table and play with Legos for hours and wants me to join her and make something together. It’s crazy how long those plastic pegs can keep her occupied. I love how Avery is different, and older now, but her love language is talking (including me listening to her for long periods of time) and laughter… with hugs still being important. That one I hope never goes away.
Is it possible that balloons can be a love language too? Cause they definitely are to this four year old…!
The air is getting crisper and I am spotting red trees in the mountains in our backyard. This transition from summer is always refreshing!
Any plans this weekend? Thanks to Camp Old Navy there’s a fantastic fundraiser on Saturday (9/19) at local @oldnavy stores called the Play it Safe event. Kids will love to learn safety from their community heroes! Meanwhile, the mommas can get their shop on cause there’s a killer sale. #oldnavystyle See you there!
The eve of the Fourth of July is always an adventure… We scope out where we want to sit for the annual Provo parade at noon then by 3:00pm we can run on the grass and set up camp. Claim our spot! Where tomorrow floating balloons and Star Wars characters will walk by, people will throw candy at us and all the while we are baking to a crisp since it’s 100 degrees out. But somehow it’s still one of my favorite holiday traditions since I was a little girl. Now I love seeing the same excitement in my kids. One of my girls couldn’t even sleep tonight because she said she was thinking of the parade. It’s not all cheesy floats though. There are some moving and memorable aspects of the parade… when Veterans are honored as well as military figures. When we all stand with our hands on our hearts as the flag is carried by, I always get tears in my eyes. God Bless the USA! I want to teach my children to honor the men who died to give us the freedom we are blessed with everyday and those that continue to sacrifice to protect us.
It’s no secret these kids are crazy! Or they just have a lot of spirit and energy. Collin’s sister, Emily, hooked us up with a shoot for the University Mall GAP in Utah. It was just us girls! The boys aren’t up for this sort of thing anyway. But I realized something after the shoot… my girls definitely had a crush on the photographer, Matt Clayton! He turned on the Disney Pandora station, pointed a wind machine their way, told them to scream as loud as they could, jump as high as you can and all the while he was beyond patient. No one was throwing a tantrum (thank goodness) they were all giddy and giggly. He fed them Wheat Thins too. Apparently, they love a boy with snacks.
Here are some questions they asked me to answer:
What’s a favorite Christmas tradition of yours?
It’s sad to think that my favorite tradition has been completely neglected the past two years. I mean, where is my Christmas spirit?! It all started when I was a little girl and we would bundle up and go to a Christmas tree farm strung with twinkling lights and every size tree you could imagine. We would search for THE perfect tree… which is quite the process with five very important opinions. Then my dad would tie it to the top of our maroon Aerostar. I was always amazed that it wouldn’t fall off as we drove home… with our toes defrosting and singing Christmas carols. A couple years ago I bought a white fake tree (gasp!) Seriously how Grinchy of me! Even though it is quite bright and cheerful the plan was to still get a real tree because, please tell me, what smells more like Christmas than a freshly cut tree.
What brings you joy?
Is it normal that the thing that brings me the most joy is also the same little, cute things that drive me nuts and make me completely exhausted at times and I want to pull my hair out?
Literally the amount to joy is unmeasurable that I get for being a mother. Good thing the joyous times surmount the pull-my-hair-out times.
Describe giving or getting the perfect gift. Or, what is a perfect gift? (in general)
Thoughtful gifts are the perfect gift. It’s the gift that you can tell someone really invested time thinking of and put an interest in what you like or maybe paid special attention to something you need. It’s seeing my sister give my musical brother a harmonica because it’s what my dad always played when we were growing up. Or a friend finding a vintage record from Goodwill of your favorite band. That one time my sister bought me the Punky Brewster dvds, that was pretty awesome. Not sure how my husband will top last year since he wrote a song about us and sang it for me with his ukulele. Heart melted. Now that was the perfect gift.
What is a holiday must in your family? (activity, destination, food, etc)
Our holiday-must is finding someone to do Secret Santa for. Collin and I have done this since we were first married and now that the kids are getting older it takes on a whole new meaning for everyone. Praying together to find a family who needs some extra Christmas spirit defines what this holiday season means to us. Now instead of always asking our kids, “What do you want for Christmas?” We can say, “What do you want to give for Christmas.”
On Christmas Eve we make the delivery and it’s pretty hilarious and exhilarating to watch Collin from our hide-out a few houses down as he drops the presents and runs. In the snow. Seriously once he slipped and we died laughing. When I was younger, after my dad had passed away, someone did this for my family and I will never forget it.
As much as I love seeing the Christmas lights at Temple Square, hot cocoa, sledding, and the Christmas Carol at Hale Center Theatre… playing Santa wins every year.
All photos taken and edited by: Matt Clayton
Looking through my library of photos I realized I hadn’t shared a few details of Avery’s baptism luncheon from a few months ago. And since you know I love any excuse to hang lights and crepe paper from our tree, I thought I’d better rescue these pics from the forever-forgotten-folders on my computer never to see the light of day again.
There were so many preparations for this special day. Beyond the flowers, cake, photos and programs we spent time reading and discussing what it means to be baptized in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints with Avery because it’s ultimately her choice.
I was so proud of her decision and although she’s only eight, I am grateful for the integrity, accountability and strength she is already striving to develop and learn about. Such important qualities she will need as she continues to grow older. Because clearly she’s not listening to my constant demands to stop growing up.
Since I wanted this day to be different from the many other family parties we’ve hosted in our backyard I rented tables, chairs and linens. I had a vision of us all eating together on one long table to celebrate her special day. And thank goodness family drama between parents and exes were put aside… even the weather cooperated perfectly too.
The favors were 4×6 pieces of wood that I painted the sides and adhered a photo of Avery on one side and Come Unto Christ print (from Etsy) on the other. Also, carnations and thank you tags on each plate.
Programs and floral crown I put together.
If anyone is interested you may read more about the LDS church here: lds.org Or even email me.
More of Ave… because I love these pics.
We celebrated Lola bug’s birthday yesterday. This girl is so cheerful, loves everything girlie, frilly, pink, rufflly! Loves dress up, crawling in our bed at 4 am, and dancing to Annie. And she’s got some serious sass.
Her day started with a waffle breakfast & crown then a date with mom and dad of playing at her favorite trampoline-jump place, dinner, shopping and dessert. A tradition we started last year where mom and dad get one on one time with the birthday girl/boy… it’s my new favorite thing! We went to Texas Road House and she was not shy about sitting on the saddle and yelling “Yeeeeeeehaw!!” Then she filled up my stroller with everything at the Disney store she could reach and ended up with an Aerial doll. Course.
Because if you want your daughter to look up to someone– it’s the 16 year old princess who rebels against her dad for some boy she says she loves that she’s never even talked to and then she runs away to find an evil, crazy person to help her who ends up tricking her and almost killing everyone. Haha! Love Disney movies.
Growing up my mom made sure that our birthdays were such a special day. I can remember a Strawberry Shortcake Doll cake she made and I even have an invitation in a keepsake box she sent out for my second birthday. Man these girls’ birthdays sneak up on me but I managed to make some quick fringe garlands, ombre table cloth from last birthday and ballon garland… Trying to do my best for them to feel that same love I remember.
-BALLOON BANNER: this is so easy. Just blow up a bag of balloons and then tie them about 6 inches apart, depending on how big they are. Use twine or curling ribbon. Then hang it up.
-FRINGE BANNER: I shared how to make fringe banners in a previous post. Using plastic tablecloths and a rotary cutter. I hung up the fringe as garlands and also vertically on the ends of the balloon banner.
–PAPER GARLANDS: You can find some garlands at party supply stores or online that add some dimension to the decor.
-OMBRE TABLECLOTH I used RIT dye and some fabric and dip dyed the tablecloth… I’ve been wanting to make one for ages and thanks to this pipsqueak’s birthday I had an excuse to do it.
I told my sister when she opened this dress from her that I guarantee she will sleep in it. And she did.
This morning was cake for breakfast & the after party! bwaha! xo, Lizzy
You can’t tell the story of Zuzu without starting with the strength of her momma. Who is also my little sister, Ashley
aka: blondie blonde
aka: my little sister who would sneak my finger nail polish and paint it on her lips
I shouldn’t be surprised at how Ashley rises above challenging times. When she was only 13 years old and our dad passed away she had a certain strength about her that helped all of us overcome such a trial.
Fast forward 17 years and you find the same blondie blonde all grown up living in a foreign country with her husband and daughter for Christopher’s work. This past fall they were getting acquainted with the new language, new home, new routines while living in Paris. Then she found out through the broken english of her Doctor that their growing baby in her tummy had serious complications. Serious enough that they packed up and moved from Paris back to Utah. The story continues with doctor visits every week, bed rest, scary times of almost losing their baby. But Zuzu is a fighter, just like her mommy. She held on even though the doctors said there’s 50% chance of having still born. Even when they said she won’t make it past 32 weeks. Even when they said Zuzu’s has Down Syndrom and her heart has four holes with a chance of heart failure she stayed strong. One day they went in for a routine check up and after an intense few hours she was born–February 4th at 36 weeks weighing 4 lbs 11 oz.
It was still a hard road for Ashley, Chris and Taimi. Long hours at the NICU (Newborn Intensive Care Unit) until she was healthy enough to go home. Then when she was home their goal was to keep her growing and eating so she could be strong enough to have open heart surgery. She still was on a heart monitor and the words heart failure echoing in their minds.
Yesterday we listened to Ashley and Chris each give a talk about the strength they receive through our Savior. And Chris also gave Zuzu a blessing. I could barely hold myself together, seeing that I was sitting in the same chapel that my dad went to when he was a boy. My sister and Chris moved to Provo to be closer to the hospital and by chance it was the same church my dad attended. The spirit was strong there.
Today, at this very moment, our sweet Zuzu is having open heart surgery. With the steady hands of brilliant, guided doctors and helpful nurses they are closing the four holes in her heart, heart problems are common for babies who are diagnosed with Downs Syndrome. As she was when she was born. She is truly truly an angel and a fighter. I am in awe of my sister and Chris’s strength… they are more brave & strong than afraid.
She’s already strengthened our faith, increased the love our hearts can hold and brought a light and peace with her to our family. I can only imagine how astounding the rest of her life story will be…
Top Photos by Heather Telford Bottom: by Me & Collin Kartchner
Read Ashley’s blog here