Friday, August 28, 2015

I have been unfortunately at stuck at home with some car problems.  The plus side is it that is has forced me to be a bit on the creative side.   I have been wanting some time to focus on creative outlets.....and not having a car has forced me to be a bit more "artsy".  

I have been looking online at abstract art prints for a while.....and I just haven't been able to get over the price point.  So this is what I came up with.   

A little bit of this and a little bit of that equals.....




A risk.....and I actually kind of like it.  Not too shabby for under $10

Monday, August 24, 2015


These cute daughters of mine sharing a quick back to school photo session with Mom as photographer.  These back to school pictures have become a tradition of sorts.  I am not sure how many more years they will allow and humor me.  Alyssa may be going to college with a picture of book or apple on top of her head.  She is kind to her Mom and her antics.  

Fear!

Last week at a church meeting I attending one of the main speakers spoke about fear.  She spoke about fear of everything and how it can be paralyzing.  We live in a time where there is a lot of fearful things that can happen.  At the time during her talk, I thought.....shwew.....I am so glad that I don't have a lot of fear.  I really feel lucky to not have anxiety about the worst that can happen to me and my children.  In fact, I have often thought I should have a little more inhibition with situations and be a bit more careful.  

A few days later I was eating lunch with a couple of really good friends.  We were talking about everything and nothing in between.....the best kinds of conversation.  My friend remarked because she had heard the same talk in church, that she couldn't relate to the talk about fear because she didn't feel like she had many herself.  She is strong willed in nature, independent and takes things into her own hands.  

That evening I went to anther church meeting and I was again reminded that we don't need to have fear and that we can move forward in faith.  After four conversations, multiple meetings, and reading scriptures every night for the week it finally hit me!   

I HAVE FEAR!  I FEAR the unknown!  I am terrified that I am going to make a wrong decision and I am afraid of not having the answers to what lies ahead of me in life.  It stops me from doing things I should and could be doing.  

I am not fearful in the sense of being afraid of life surroundings.  I don't walk out my door anticipating something bad might happen to me or my children or husband.  I don't fear day to day activities or meeting new people.  I don't worry about going somewhere a lone, or my children getting older.  

I FEAR the unknown and making wrong decisions based on the unknown.  
I realized more than ever last week that we all have fears, whether we want to acknowledge them or not.....we all have them.  

Being afraid stops me from doing things that I sometimes know I should.  It has stopped me from talking to certain people about taboo subjects because of what they may think.  Fear has stopped me in my life at certain forks in the road.  

Mike and I have been making big decision as of late.  We have been deciding on where to buy a house, and what house to buy.  I have had a lot of anxiety in this decision.  I have been afraid that we will make the wrong choice based on unknown factors.  

This week at church I recognized again the answer to many of my dilema's.  I recognized that fear is not larger that doing what is right.  Just because we can't see the end from the beginning doesn't mean we are making wrong decisions.  We don't have to fear in big or small decisions.  Just because something isn't perfect, it doesn't mean we need to fear it!  

I have thought about my kids a lot the past couple of weeks with school starting.  I think about how in such blind faith they do hard things that require strength and not fear.  I think about how they can't afford to have fear.  They have to do..... more than they have to fear doing.  They are trying new things every day of their lives.  

I am reminded this week that we need not fear perfect or imperfect decisions.  All decisions lead to greater understanding if we are trying our best to do what is right.  

I tell my darling kids every day to not be afraid to meet new people.  I tell them with confidence that they can make right decisions, and do hard things.  I tell my Alyssa and Mikey to not be afraid to stand up for what they know is right and be nice to people that may not have any friends.  I tell them these things daily.....but am I living them.  

I need to fear less and have faith more.  I need to not be prideful of claiming that I don't have FEARS!  We all have fear but am grateful for daily reminders of goodness and truths.  





Sunday, August 23, 2015

These girls....oh so grown up.....

Back to SCHOOL.......books and all.....




Back To School.....

These kids of mine started the big first day of school two weeks ago.  Amazing...how quickly they all grow up before my eyes.  They were ready and rearing to go.  Alyssa wanted to make sure she made everyone's lunch.  Mikey had his alarm set an hour and a half early.....just to make sure he didn't miss it.  Cath had her outfit set neatly out with matching accessories ready for the first day!  We had to hide the makeup from her the morning of.  Sam....well needless to say he was ready to join the big kids at the big school.  I had to make sure he didn't sneak and chase the bikes down the road after the door was closed.    

115 degree weather for the first day of school changes my traditional back to school wardrobe idea of cute kids lined up in corduroy, flannel, and jeans.  The kids took extra large water bottles.  Despite the heat they till insisted on riding bikes to school.  We have a group of a neighbors that ride together .....it is a gang of sorts.  I am the paranoid mother who does the secret and not so secret drive by....just to make sure they are not passing out from heat stroke and staying on the right side of the road.  

I had about 30 seconds to snap a couple of photos of the morning.  With school starting early here (7:40 am) we are always on a bit of a time crunch.  



Mikey's smiles were a little painful......he was over the photo shoot before it began...


The cool side hug....with  he best friend Owen. 


He was off......


  It was quite bright....and hard to keep our eyes open for pics....:)


Cath aka....big sister....


my only child these days.....always up for a pose.  







Monday, August 10, 2015

I have started and stopped writing this post three times.  That must mean I need to write it.....

This last week we went as a family to Newport Beach California.  We had a wonderful time being together on the beach and just enjoying California and all the wonderful things it has to offer.  Just the smells, and the feel of Southern California make me happy.  It must have to do with childhood emotional attachment from family vacations annually.  I have the best memories of going every year with my own family to California.  

For ten years I have day dreamed of the day when Mike was going to be finished with his medical training and we were going to be "riding off into the sunset with our family of four".  I am convinced it is these day dreams that get us through the difficult times.    However now that the time is here and my day dream is reality new challenges arise, and familiar emotions  I assumed would leave immediately with our new phase of life are still present.  

Life still feels transitional.  We still feel like we are figuring out this new life in the West, near family and lots of neighbors with the same religious beliefs.  We are adjusting to not being different, to being just one of the crowd.  I feel like I am adjusting to small talk and happy conversations "all of the time".  I am adjusting to people wearing makeup even at the gym, and eyelash extensions everywhere I turn.  I am still trying to swallow the fact that no one knows my life for the past ten years in Pennsylvania, and no one really cares.  


Transitions are time of change.  I love quotes......always have.  They help pick me up and give me wisdom in weak moments.  I recently read one that applies to my life.  

CHANGE IS INEVITABLE, 
GROWTH IS OPTIONAL!

I especially love this quote as of late......because this seems to be relevant to my life.   

We have to choose and not just go with the tide that life brings.  We have to grow in the process by pushing ourselves to be better and be genuine with who we are.  It is easy to just let things slide....to just let life happen.  It is far easier to think......someone else will do it.  It is far more difficult to make life happen and push ourselves to become better.

This past week at the beach I had a lot of time to think.  It was a good time for me to realize and recognize what I love about my life and what I need to change in myself personally and in my life.

The beach was fun, the time away valuable, and memories were made....

My favorite picture of the trip of my favorite crew!



This boy had it figured out from the get go.  A little beach boy....



Sam was digging to China.....



My girls I adore with all my heart....



Best sight to see....not a book in hand!


All boy....this Mikey of mine....


Sam my man not far behind....just trying to keep up....




I LOVE BALBOA ISLAND.....I had forgotten how much....


the charm....



If only these doors were mine......


the french blue ones....that is......


This is how we strolled.....Alyssa was a saving grace with Sam.


He was a bit of a handful at times.....so we let him climb.....


Ready set .....go time for Mike and Cath....


Just chillin.....

she almost wore it as a necklace.....


Mike and boogie boards work well together.....



Ruby's shake shack was worth all the hype just for the view!


It wouldn't be a trip to Newport without a trip to Roger's Gardens.  I literally wanted the ENTIRE STORE!


It was almost painful....I loved it so much....

And there you have it.....

NEWPORT 2015











Sunday, August 2, 2015

Getting back into Photography.....

This summer I have taken a bit of a sabbatical with photography.  However the other day I had a chance to break out the camera for our local Elementary school PTO website.  I was able to snap some candid photos for a website being created.  

I enjoy every element of taking photos.  I especially enjoyed spying darling personalities of these spunky elementary students....













We have dragon pride in this household.