Halloween Fun!

This won’t be long, but it’s certainly long overdue! My phone is having issues and I️ was afraid I’d lose these pictures and video so I’m uploading now without editing or anything else. Hope family enjoys our little snippets of fun:


This doesn’t show how much Asher absolutely loved his costume that Daddy made (Mommy was supervisor?! I’m a better manager than worker, that’s for sure!), or how he starting yelling at EVeRY house, “hey, want to see me transform?!” And “Happy Halloween!” on his way out. That boy is sweeter every day.

And Selah (Moana) is so grown up, it seems impossible to this mama’s heart! How she is this old and independent is beyond me. I️ know I’m partial, but I️ also think she’s pretty beautiful inside and out!

Happy Halloween, friends and fam!


Well, it looks like Asher is our inspirational speaker of the bunch!  Today’s conversation with one of the college girls who lives with us & helps run the kids around (who is also starting her first year teaching kindergarten), in her words:

“Asher said the cutest thing today. In the car he asked if I was nervous to teach. I told him a little bit. He said he used to get nervous for preschool but one day he decided not to be nervous and “it changed his life and it can change your life too”.

Love that kid! He loves to cheer people up and encourage them, and he also likes when people do the same to him.  It’s funny how their little personalities develop.  He’s also very thoughtful and always asks how my day was and how I’m feeling; definitely my more sensitive of the two.  It’s so sweet to this Mama’s heart! 

Here a few pics from the weekend (I’ll post more later, but these are of him this weekend at the lake):


Selah has started gymnastics and Asher has started soccer.  They both are doing well, but I have to say that Asher’s soccer experience this morning was surprisingly awesome.  

He gets frustrated easily with himself so I was preparing him for the worst – I told him that he is just going to practice and that he needed to stick with it, have fun, and keep trying hard because other kids might have a lot more soccer practice (as in, any) than him.  I just wanted him to not be dissapointed in himself – it has happened over and over in swimming and writing, two things he gets very frustrated because his sister outperforms him by so much.  But soccer?  He was actually really impressive!  

Here’s a video of his first time kicking a soccer ball: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7jzvzS89k9s

We were pleasantly surprised – and so was he!  The absolute best part was seeing how proud of himself he was.  

Selah has always been strong and coordinated, so it’s equally as fun watching her (just not as shocking 😉).  She originally only wanted to go because her friend Madeline was going, but she’s now started to enjoy going even when Madeline isn’t going.  She still enjoys piano and singing more (which I know, family, I’ll video next week!), but we might have an athlete yet, and we’re happy that gymnastics keeps her practicing strength and coordination.  Here’s a little video mashup – nothing fancy, but is our scrapbook to compare how the kiddos grow:


The other sport I’ve been meaning to try is biking – I’d like to take Asher to the pump track in town because that kid is crazy on a bike!  It must be the triceratops helmet!  😉

Happy Saturday family and friends!

Nana’s Birthday

When I’m 92 I hope I’m as fun as this lady right here:

Last weekend we were blessed to go up to my Nana and Papa’s house and spend a pizza party evening with them for Nana’s 92nd birthday.  
The kids insisted on bringing bikes because they remember riding with Nana last time.  Not sure if we were racing or having a parade, but I think all three were having a blast:

We also made our way out back and picked apples and grapes in season (which I’ve been busy peeling and cooking all week in various dishes…so far, apple muffins, Apple crisp, and applesauce)…

If I have half the spunk of this woman when I’m 92, I think I’ll be doing pretty well.  I pray my daughter has heroes in her life like I have had in both of my grandmas.  (Pretty sure she’s off to a good start with her grandmas so far too! 😉).  

(Sidenote #2:  my Papa and Dad are also both pretty spectacular, so the men are not to be left out, despite not being pictured!). 

First Day of First Grade

Finally!  School is back in!  Selah started 1st grade this year – and I can’t believe she is that grown up.  If I could stop time I would – love these years and although I’m often tired and can’t wait for sleep, I never feel like I have enough time with the kids after getting work and house chores done.  

Miss Selah is quite the student – loves her  teacher and class.  It was a tiny bit rough as we started since she expected to have the other teacher and was separated from one of her buddies, but she recovered well and it’s going to be a great year.  Here’s some pictures that summed up the first school morning with the family sending her off!

And a few at school with friends in her class and outside:

And this was the second day, but a sweet time of Selah watching the morning neighborhood activity with her best buddy Mok:

Ok, ok…one more…this same morning I caught a glimpse of her getting herself ready and just wasn’t expecting to see such a ‘big kid’ there.  My baby girl is getting so incredibly self sufficient!  Crazy.  

 Good thing I have this guy who still needs me!

Colorado Day 4

Almost done sharing our trip a few weeks ago!  There’s just so many great pictures!

On our last day there Hannah had a flight so couldn’t join us, and Miss Kelly had the amazing idea to take a little mini-trip for the night to a cabin in the mountains where there were some fun hot springs.  Best idea ever!  Only thing more fun would have been to have the whole crew together, but it was the best time and so perfect.  

We stayed in a cute cabin that could have fit a few more, but had an amazing view and great location between upper and lower pools at the resort.  The upper pool had a waterslide into a main warm pool and then a lazy river connecting to another even warmer pool, along with two other small pools of varying temperature.  All with the backdrop of beautiful Colorado mountains – pretty spectacular.

view, complete with fighting children!
Asher found his inner peace
my favorite by far, with my baby girl

The lower part of the resort (our view) had a river with natural hot springs where you could make your own pools with rocks, and then two large pools of the hot spring water.  The kids loved it (minus the river – it was cold after dinner when we went and Selah had a good fall on the way there, so our timing was a little off, but the pools worked great and it was perfect).

We also had perfect timing walking by the store on our way back – and the ice cream man unloading his truck gave us a free ice cream!  If that doesn’t scream ‘perfect vacation’, I don’t know what does!! 😉

We are so thankful for these amazing friends we’ve made.  Kelly and Nels are the epitome of hospitality – I think if you look it up in the dictionary their picture is there.  And you know, they’ve raised a pretty cool family too – of course Hannah remains a favorite (of us – and our kiddos!). Looks like we’ll be back to Colorado soon! ❤️❤️❤️

Family beach night

This was a week or so ago – a few days after Jesse’s surgery.  

For extended family who might not have realized – since we’ve kind of been hiding in a hole of sorts for months and months – Jesse tore his ACL again in February, along with his PCL (I think that’s the one), and his meniscus got stuck between his knee in an ‘aftershock’ injury (basically from walking around with the torn ACL for a few months).  So, to prolong a long story, he’s been waiting on a surgery date, unable to walk, since April/May or so.  And he finally had surgery late July.  So, if you haven’t heard from us, it’s because it’s been a somewhat tough last couple of months and we are really, really glad to see a light at the end after a successful surgery!

Back to the task at hand…a few days after surgery, Jesse wanted to get out of the house (it was super hot the two-three days following the surgery, and he was stuck in an immobilizer from his hip to below the knee)…so we went and picked up Blenders for dinner and parked at the beach.  He sat in the car, but at least got some fresh ocean air (heals better than the pain killers, I can tell you with confidence after watching his face!)…and the kids and I played in the sand right between the car and the water.

It’s times like these I’m acutely aware of how thankful I am for so many parts of our lives.  To name a few:

* Our kiddos (duh).  But here’s something I’m really thankful for often, but don’t mention enough – that they are best friends and built-in playmates.  Nope, they don’t always get along…and nope, they don’t always want to do the same activities.  But on the whole, these two have eachother’s  backs and are the best of pals.  

* Where we live.  Dang, Santa Barbara is expensive and I complain a lot about that, often to the point of not appreciating what we have.  But it really is the best spot in the world (especially to enjoy evenings like this)- not too hot, not too cold, beach, mountains, a little bit city, a little bit country, and very few bugs (weird, but I kid you not – every other place I’ve been that has nice evenings like this also has bug bites!  And I for some reason am tasty and get eaten alive!  Not in SB though!).  It’s kind of perfect for us, and can’t believe we’re so blessed that it’s home!
* Health.  We have two healthy kiddos (hands down our number one blessing).  I am blessed to be able-bodied enough to take care of the house, kids, and Jesse while he recovers.  It’s made me appreciate that there’s two of us when he is healthy and that what he has is “fixable”, and that’s a lot to be thankful for that not everyone can count on.

I could go on, but you get the picture.  It’s not a’first’ or anything new or exciting, but I took a bunch of pictures with the intent of sharing because it was one of those moments I would give anything to pause and relive over and over to memorize every sound, taste, scent, and sight.  If time would freeze a moment, I think one of these ‘normal’ nights would be my choice above anything extraordinary – they are my favorite in all the land.

 (Here Ash was playing in our “super duper long, tall shadows, Mommy”!):

Here’s just a quick clip of some of the live pictures converted to video:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2WThTBHT9Fg

Kindergarten Grad

I couldn’t be more proud of our sweet girl and how she did this year.  Her school and teacher exceeded all expectations and so did she.  She’s learned to read, write stories, create beautiful art, and math skills I can’t believe.  We are excited for summer, but ready for first grade!  Here are some pictures of the day and the little graduation ceremony:

Her teacher and aide, along with her two besties: And thanks to Grandma, who came all the way here just for the ceremony, and took us to Blenders after!  I can’t believe she escaped my picture taking and I missed snapping one of her and the graduate!  

4th of July Celebrations

I’m going to work backwards from here, going back to key events since I left off blogging a few months back, in hopes of filling in holes for my ‘scrapbook’ of memories for the kids, along with faraway family.

First up – 4th of July weekend, block party & parade! 

I love our neighbors and neighborhood.  There are tons of kids and families, a good mix of a slightly older generation (which I love for our kiddos), and it’s what I would consider safe.  For the holiday, one of my motivated neighbors took it upon herself to organize a big shindig at the park between the two circles of houses.  This was no ordinary block party either – it was complete with a taco truck, fresh horchata, bounce house, DJ, limbo, and bike parade.  So fun for the kids – and us!  

Good times in Montecito.  If my kiddos only knew how blessed they are!   (We are working on conversations about privilege…but sometimes the concepts come slow & I try a number of ways to get the point across before one just ‘sticks’).  

Next up, 4th of July parade!  

Jesse’s knee has been really bugging him lately (seems logical, 4 months without walking would do it to anyone – and he literally NEVER complains, so you know it’s actually hurting now!) – so I took the kids solo to the downtown Montecito celebration to represent Cold Spring School in the parade and friendly competition after between Selah’s school and Montecito Union.  

They were the sweetest, all decked out.  We made our way to our spot then waited a good hour riding around with friends and climbing trees before the parade started. I walked with a few other moms with a banner and the kids zoomed through the crowd in the street.  I even lost Asher in the surrounding neighborhood at the end of it – innocent mistake for his first ride and my horror of not being able to run as fast he rides that bike of his!  I took it as a good opportunity to remind him how to tell a fireman his mommy’s name and find the man with the microphone! 😆

And of course what 4th celebration is complete without terribly unhealthy, mediocre tasting sweets with artificial food dye and flavor?!?   Isn’t that the American way?! 

The kids had a great time, as did I – and although it was exhausting, it was 100% worth it to see those moments of sibling love and pure joy amidst my own personal moments of panic when losing one of them in the crowd (Selah is quite the social butterfly and since it was the school rivalry – the Montecito Cup – she was off enjoying friends while I tried to keep tabs on Asher and hoped she could find me when necessary!).

We also miraculously made it to fireworks with Daddy so he could share in the day, and set up our own cooling pool in the backyard to combat the heat.  Perfect day to celebrate America!

Home Sweet Home

Selah and I just got home from a backpacking trip with Grandpa in the western Sierras.  It was the absolute best, but it’s also so sweet to come home.  To comfy couches, and family of course.  Backpacking pictures to follow (once I download – I didn’t have my phone up there so used a little point and shoot camera), but for now I thought I’d share our welcome home pics with some sweet new blankets that Grandma knit for us.  

Here’s my sweet baby…being eaten by a vicious shark! 

And my beautiful mermaid relaxing with her daddy who she missed so much! 

 Now….to sleep in my own bed!