family photos twenty sixteen

We haven't had any family photos taken since Louisa was born and thought it was high time to get some taken for the holidays! I found Kelsey on a community page when someone else posted their pictures and knew she would be awesome. She did NOT disappoint. Not only was she talented with a camera but she is also just an all-around nice, fun person. Portrait photography is not just about how well you can wield a camera. It's about personality and making your subjects feel comfortable. She has both gifts and I am so happy with the way they turned out.

Kelsey found the most PERFECT location after I told her I wanted something that reflects where we live and something with water in the background. Someday, I would love to have a home on the water but until that day, I wanted to at least display some photos in our home with water. These fit the bill! I mean, can you deal with that view? I also chose outfits for our family in colors and patterns that I thought would look good with the way I decorate.
Thanks a million, Kelsey!


guemes island

We spent a beautiful, relaxing weekend at Guemes Island at our friends' cabin. It was so generous of them to invite us and we had a great time! Guemes is pretty perfect. An hour and a half drive from our house, a five minute ferry ride from Anacortes and a tiny island with the population of 600 people - mostly vacationers. There's one small market that has a restaurant, live music in the summers and sells the essentials as well as scoops of Lopez Island ice cream. It's quaint and perfect.
The cabin itself was set right on the water with steps down the hill to the beach. You could ever-so faintly hear the buoy bells on the ocean while it was otherwise incredibly peaceful and quiet. The air was crisp and fresh as we sat on the porch swing / adirondack chairs and watched the kids play. The cabin was filled with fun toys for the kids so we had lots of quiet time for ourselves. A dream in itself. We drove around the island (which took about 20 minutes) and I had Zillow pulled up the whole time, dreaming of buying a place there. Someday!
We had a great time eating good food, talking, relaxing, listening to Red House Painters (hello, flashback to college!) and staying up late, after the kids were all asleep, playing Mao (a complicated card game that got more complicated and more intense as the night progressed!). Thanks to the Morgan's for a great weekend!


whidbey island

Seattle has jumped feet first into fall, but we had one random nice day this weekend so we decided to go to Whidbey Island. Taking a ferry somewhere, anywhere, is always a joy for our kids so we could've just done that and they would've been happy. I secretly also love taking the ferry. It still feels special and new to me. 

We drove to Double Bluff Beach and it was really fun. I don't know that I would necessarily want to go there to swim or "beach" but it was a fun place to explore. Lots of driftwood forts for the kids, rocks to throw, shells to collect and it was a no-leash area so there were lots of nice dogs for the kids to play with. Lulu was delightfully happy. Throwing sand and rocks is her jam.
I love these little nuggets. They don't always get along but they mostly do and it makes me happy. I love seeing their individual personalities develop and the ways that they're developing their own relationships with each other. It feels special to be a part of.
the nicest dog who wanted to play fetch with Fritz.
We came pretty unprepared though. By the end of the beach time, they were all pretty well covered in sand but with a little bit of baby wipes and some creativity of random items in the car, we made it work. Parenting win. I also found my dream house (again). I have a real thing for gambrel + sloped roofs and weather vanes. It's just too charming. Dutch Colonial always gives me butterflies. I also love the slate blue siding. It looked almost black and, paired with the white trim, it was perfect.
Then we drove to Fort Casey to see the cannons from WWI/WWII. It was a fun place to explore. Lots of hidden spots and things to climb.
I love their love.
We also headed down to the beach from the fort and sat on the rocks and watched the sea lions come in to the shore to look for food and lay in the sun. We were alone on the beach and it felt really cool to be there with the sea lions just frockling in the water. Then, it was time to head home and we were hungry! I found a place with great reviews so we stopped there for sandwiches to take with us on the ferry. You guys - if you ever go to Whidbey Island, stop at Pickles Deli. I am really picky about my deli meat, bread and toppings (I sound really high maintenance) so I was really pleased when I found out they used Boar's Head and make their own amazing pickles and have fresh, delicious bread. Also, if you like Reubens, get one.

It was a great way to finish off summer.


thirty-two years

It's my 32nd birthday today. I know in the grand scheme of things, I'm not really that old but by golly - I miss my 20s! Haha! With age, comes some really great things like wisdom, experience, authenticity and perspective. I'm still learning all those things but I feel like I'm really gaining a lot more of these characteristics each year. I went out with some friends on Saturday night (David secretly planned a girls night out for me, which was so sweet of him) and we took this selfie. It makes me happy every time I look at it because I was laughing so hard at how difficult it was to get all of us in the shot.
Here's to another year of growth, acceptance and laughter. I love to laugh and I hope that this year will include more of it. If you want to make my birthday, can you leave a comment with your best joke, anecdote, embarrassing story, funniest thing your kid(s) have said? I would really love to read it!

Love you all!


these faces

These faces are from 2006. Newly engaged. Super in love and no idea what it was like to be married or, even, "adult" - but we loved each other a lot so that, and our optimism, carried us. In 2004, just a month after meeting him, I wrote in my journal, "I love his personality and motivation and kindness and even temper and friendly, charasmatic attitude. I love that he brings out a side of me that I like. Needless to say, I think I'm falling. Hard." I hadn't known him very long but I was pretty smitten with David from the first time I saw him. His smile melted me (and continues to melt me) every time. A year later, we got engaged and had this picture taken.
These faces are from 2015. I can't believe how much we've changed over the years. I was thinner then but we both had such baby faces! David now has a beard that I love. My hair is shorter and we both have more wrinkles than we did when we were 22 and 24. That's ok with me because I'm a lot more "me" now than I have ever been in my life. Just as you should as you grow older, I've learned who I am and who I want to be. I think it can be difficult getting married young because people often don't even know who they are when they're in their early 20s. Luckily, David and I have grown together and have encouraged each other to be our best selves along the way. We're celebrating our 10th wedding anniversary this fall and I am so happy to be living my life with him. Ten years in and even more in love than I was that August in 2006 when he asked me to marry him. I felt like my heart was going to explode because I loved him so much. I couldn't stop giggling for 30 minutes after he asked me because I was just so happy. Now, when I look at pictures like this one, my heart feels steady, happy and grateful. We have our struggles but there are ties that bond us that include love, respect and laughter. I love the family we've created and the lives we're living together. Here's to my #1.