The Wishbone

Here are the only two pics I missed in the Thanksgiving post that were on my phone:


It’s Grandpa teaching Selah how to break the wishbone from our turkey. Not sure if everyone has this tradition, but I always liked it as a kid. Selah “won”, so we told her she gets a “wish”…no telling if she even knows what that is or made one, but it was cute to see her participate.

The remainder of the weekend was fun just the two of us since Jesse left for Iowa. I actually got our nanny to come while I hiked Saturday morning since I’ve been trying to take at least an hour for myself to exercise. Seems like a measly little goal, but during volleyball combined with work & pregnancy, it’s about what I can manage. Here’s the view of the islands I was rewarded with at the top – and the baby boy along with me at 25 weeks:



And last, but not least (Spoiler Alert: this post may contain information about pending Christmas present making, but I couldn’t help myself because of her crinkly nosed smile), a picture of Selah hard at work on our Christmas presents. Believe it or not, I did comb her hair today. Seriously. I did.


She is a lot of work these days with her “I do it” attitudes, but man oh man do I love that kid. Especially when she gives me that smile. Nothing like it in the world, that’s for sure 🙂

Blessings on the upcoming week! I’ll try to update, but no promises 😉

Future Cheerleader (?)…

My favorite part of this video from a few weeks ago is: “I’m not a cheerleader, I Selah” ;). But you should watch anyways:

Also, she came up with the “Gulpy Gator” cheer all by herself. It’s a game on this show she likes, but the cheer for it is all her own. And I’m not even sure she knows what a cheerleader is – and if she does, I have no clue how, being that I’m pretty far from encouraging that one! However, if the ballerina princess obsession is foreshadowing, I’m pretty sure I’m doomed 😉


This girl loves running, that’s for sure!

My pictures don’t exactly convey our holiday – they mostly are just of Selah running around outside, and a few pictures with cousins. Which was certainly part of it, and a very fun part at that, but I guess that is just where I pulled out the camera to capture the moment. The rest of the time, I was enjoying family, which I certainly can’t apologize for! 🙂

Thanksgiving Eve we met Jesse’s extended family in Oxnard for dinner and had a surprisingly good visit at a restaurant. Surprisingly, you ask? Well…anytime we are in a restaurant with a two-year-old and have a nice time is very surprising! Selah was well-behaved for…wait for it…3 (yes, THREE!) hours at the restaurant, which is pretty amazing – for her and pretty much for most toddlers, so she earned her star that night! And of course it was nice to visit with Jesse’s family, and I’m so glad they got to connect.

Thanksgiving day and the following day, we went to San Luis to my parent’s house. My mom cooked an amazing spread (and my dad barbequed a pretty awesome turkey), and we were able to visit with my extended family – aunts, uncles, cousins, and a second generation of cousins as well. Selah had a hard time adjusting at first (she went down for a nap when it was just us there, and woke up to a house full of people – which can be overwhelming for anyone), but once she eased into things, she really enjoyed having the other kids there (minus a few sharing-of-toys issues standard to most two-year-olds). All in all, a nice day shared with family. We are so blessed to have family that gets along and enjoys each others company.

Only part missing was of course the Hawaii family who we would have loved to see, and my Nana and Papa. Nana has the shingles, and we were limited to a phone call because of that, but we plan to make it up to her when she is feeling better. Hopefully some of these pictures of our little girl will be able to cheer up her spirits and we’ll see her very soon!


The treat will go “in my mouth”, Mommy!

Smile from our little one

Smiles from Mommy & Selah

Showing Raya Grandpa’s honey bees

So serious

Our cutie pie in the sunset light

A kiss for baby brother

And a kiss for mommy

Selah’s “Blue Steel” pose

Playing catch with cousin Micah & Raya is so fun!

More throwing with Raya

The cousins under the bed

And some “day after” pics for your viewing pleasure! You can tell these were taken in the morning soon after she awoke, hence the amazing hair day she was having! 😉

Our little Tina Turner

Walking in heels is tricky!

And today we had to say goodbye to Daddy who left for Iowa for a week with the volleyball team. Excited to have their team make Nationals – and very hopeful that they do well and go far in the tournament – but also will be very, very thankful when he is home and volleyball comes to a close. I’m not the best pregnant woman in general, and I’m an even worse pregnant, working, single mom…so prayers that I make it through the week with my sanity would be much appreciated! 🙂

Thankful – Plus Selah stories

Nov 13th – thankful for these little baby boy kicks! Makes this whole pregnant experience a little more bearable (I’m a pretty terrible preggo lady overall, really).

Nov 14th – thankful for my sister-in-law, Nicci. Wish we lived a lot closer to hang out on a regular basis which would be even more awesome. But I always wanted a sister and she is a pretty cool bonus blessing from marrying Jesse. It’s also really comforting that she really understands Jesse (& loves him unconditionally!), which is nice to have someone to talk to every once in awhile when things are a little difficult! 🙂

And an update on Selah’s latest: she certainly is developing her own personality and thoughts more and more each day! The latest thing is that whenever I call her by my nickname for her (boo boo), she says – no Mommy, I’m Selah, not Boo Boo. We laughed the first time and explained to her of course that she’s Selah, and that’s just a nickname Mommy uses because I love her so much. Her response: I know, Mommy, but I’m Selah…and let me tell you, she’s pretty adamant about it.
At first it was a little funny and I love that she has such strong conviction on what she wants…but now I’m a little bit sad. I mean, I thought I still had a few good years left before she was embarrassed and telling me to pretend not to know her in public, but looks like its right around the corner now that she’s nixed the nicknames from me! 😉

Here’s a quick pic – sneak preview of Selah making her Christmas gifts for everyone!


Lithuania – The Churches

My outside view of a baptism inside a little Catholic church on Saturday:

Yep, still more on Lithuania that I haven’t posted. And if you’re over my trip, don’t feel guilty for just pressing delete – I just want to document for myself here so I remember.

One of the surprising things to me in Vilnius was how many churches there were in a place that was, fairly recently, not allowed freedom of worship. Apparently many of the churches were not destroyed on the oustide – they were just gutted on the inside and used for tanks and storage. Most have been beautifully restored, inside and out, and they were also surprisingly alive with parishioners. On Sunday morning, our group of women went out in two’s and went to as many church services to experience them as we could fit in.

At first I was really hesitant – seemed pretty intrusive to just go into people’s churches, especially when we didn’t understand the language for the most part. And to add to it, most of them were Catholic or Orthodox, so they are pretty formal, what I would call more “holy” services, I suppose. However, I got over it and once we got going, it was one of my most favorite experiences. It also reminded me of my grandpa almost the whole time – the devout Catholic families at the services, the smell of incense, the beautiful traditional singing, and recognizable parts of the service despite the language barrier. There was something very holy and reverent, and it was very special.

Of course I didn’t take pictures that morning, but here are a few of the unique moments that I was able to capture on film:

The super impressive National Cathedral…I couldn’t even catch the whole place in one picture, so just had these two snippets…I should have at least backed up some to give some scale, but I liked the views here:

This was really common to find – just a little tucked away place of worship. I just liked the “Sancta” above the statue and then all the bikes lined up right in front:

Crosses viewed from the courtyard across from our hotel:

A little courtyard with an angel looking over me! 🙂 :

One of my favorite spots right inside the Church of St. Francis and Bernadine:

These were taken of an Orthodox church that on the outside looked fine, but was undergoing a restoration inside after it’s use as military storage under Soviet occupation:

I love, love, loved this wooden door inside the church being restored. Not sure why, it just spoke to me:

St. Anne’s Cathedral in Vilnius, with her very gothic architecture:

The juxtaposition of the St. Annes and St. Francis and Bernadines facades with the begging at the gates:

This picture is of our hike to “Three Crosses”, constructed on a hill overlooking Vilnius in 1916, in the place where the three wooden crosses used to stand at least since 1636. The wooden crosses collapsed in 1869 and tsarist authorities did not allow for them to be rebuilt. The new monument was covertly erected in 1916, but was blown up under the order of the Soviet Government in 1950. Eventually the crosses were restored in 1989.

Potty Humor

Never gets old, does it? Well, maybe. But I had to record some of Selah’s funny conversations today. She just gets more fun the more she can verbalize her thougts. I’m going to be sad when they come out “properly” actually, because they are much more fun right now! And super cute.

1st funny convo this morning, in car:
Selah: I want to go to “Jungle Junction” park, Mommy.
Me: OK. But we have to take Mommy’s car to get fixed first.
Selah: It’s broken?
Me: Yes, it’s broken. Daddy will pick us up and we’ll drive with him.
Selah: It’s going to the doctor?
Me: Yeah! The car doctor – good job! We’re on our way to the car doctor, then the park.
Selah: Then the doctor will fix Mommy’s car. And he’ll get the bird poop off too?
Me: Maybe. Not sure about the poop. But he’ll definitely fix the car.
Selah: There are three poops, Mommy. That poop is from my birds.

(Sidenote: there is a flock of wild parrots that flies over our house every morning, and we refer to those as her birds, which is I think why she referenced that for the bird poop on my window.

2nd funny convo, tonight:
Me: We have to go pick Daddy up from practice. Here’s a treat for in the car since you ate such a good dinner.
Selah: Oooh! Graham Crappers.

🙂 Love this girl 🙂


Nov 12th: thankful to the men and women who have served our country so bravely, and for the families at home that support and pray for them. Without them, we would not have nearly as many things to choose to be thankful from.
This photo is unrelated except for that smile and nose wrinkle conveys a whole lot of thankfulness:


Inspiration Point

I’ve already been officially “thankful” this weekend 😉 … But had to share that I was inspired by my poor out of shape hike yesterday to go again today. 6 months of no exercise will do it to you, and my cardio vascular health is waning!
So…headed to inspiration point this morning for a 3.5ish mile jaunt. So glad I did and thankful for the beautiful day & helpful Daddy who gave me another morning of exercise!



10th & 11th


Nov 10th – thankful we live in Santa Barbara, especially on days like today when I spent the morning hiking and then Selah and I went to the Natural History Museum this afternoon (Jesse has volleyball out of town so is gone). We are blessed to have yearly admission to the zoo, museum (courtesy of my mom), sea center, and botanical garden and more weeks than not, we visit two out of the four. The weather is mild, we have the beach, the mountains, are not too far from lakes, and are within driving & reasonable flying distance from a lot of cool spots. Thankful to call this home for the past 12 years!


Nov 11th – thankful for food! I’m thankful I’m able to feed my family not only enough to keep them healthy, but also a variety, which is far more than most in the world have. In fact, I remember distinctly in Nicaragua that the kids don’t really even understand the question, “What is your favorite food?” because they don’t ever get a choice – any food is their favorite because it means they have a meal. And today I’m on the opposite end of the spectrum, receiving at my doorstep a fresh box of local, organic produce that comes every other week. How rich and how thankful I am!
So to make room for the new loot, I used up “leftover” veggies in the fridge and threw together a crockpot of random vegetables plus the last of my amazing canned tomatoes from Nana & Papa for a pretty darn good pasta sauce!

Selah actually even ate it on spaghetti and I hid spinach, carrots, and zucchini in there! Score one for mommy! 😉

Then tonight after she went to bed, I threw together some homemade strawberry applesauce and baked strawberry muffins for breakfast, using apples from my mom and some ‘on the verge’ fresh strawberries I wanted to use up.
Strawberry applesauce pre-cooking:

Finishing it off in the Vitamix since I kept the skins on for the vitamins:

Muffins before & after:



Lots to be thankful for – including a nice win against #1 ranked Alabama by my Texas Aggies as well! 😉

Carving & Cookies

Other Halloween “prep” items included carving pumpkins & decorating cookies (don’t ask why I thought it was a good idea to make cookies on a holiday where candy is handed out…silly Mommy).

The cookies went over better than the carving, to say the least…

Here’s some pics of both. (More of the cookies, because the attention span was much longer for that activity!)

Hmmm…what to carve, what to carve?
Ewwww…wash my hands!

After the “cleaning” part, Selah was done. No getting hands dirty for her – she just isn’t into it. Whose kid is she – neither Jesse nor I have a problem getting dirty, so not sure where this fear of messiness comes from?! 😉 Thank goodness Daddy finished off the pumpkins for us…

The end result

The cookies were the real fun!

One for the cookie, two for Selah…
Sugar high kicking in….now!
Much better attention span here
Can you possibly fit any more candy onto a cookie?!

Next up – Selah the Ballerina goes trick-or-treating! 🙂