Goodbye Volvo

I can still remember when we were dating in college and Daniel told me that his dream car was a saffron 1998 Volvo V70R; my dream car was a sports car. I was so surprised/shocked/amazed/dumbfounded that his dream car was a “family car”, but I also fell in love with that little tidbit about him.

A year after we got married we were in need of buying a car. Used cars were our market, and now his dream car was a fabulously 5 year old car, so he looked to see if there were any 1998 saffron Volvo V70R’s for sale; doubtful yet hopeful.

I will never forget the look on his face when one came up for sale at a local Carlsbad Volvo dealership…and in our price range. Simply too good to be true…we knew that with there being such a limited number of these cars made, and that one HAPPENED to be for sale when we were looking to buy a car, well it was a miracle really. My man was going to be getting his dream car at a young 25 years old.

We drove and loved this car for 9 years. We were known as the people with the orange Volvo. We got notes on the car telling us how awesome it was and plenty of looks from passerby’s. We know it is time, we know it is the smart and the right thing to do, but it is with a heavy heart that we say goodbye to our beloved saffron Volvo V70R dream car. I feel sure we will never forget this car.



Ice Skating

I have no doubt that this will be one of my fondest memories from this summer.

Daniel bought a large blow up pool this summer and to say that the kids have been LOVING IT is a huge understatement. If it wasn’t killing our lawn to have a blow up pool on it, I am pretty sure that they would swim in it every day.

At first tears came each time we had to deflate the pool (to change the water out and move it to a new spot on the grass)…but then “ice skating” was discovered. See, when Daniel lets the air out of the pool, the water rushes out, leaving a small pond in our back yard. The best part however is that the pool doesn’t quite empty all the way; a little water is left on the smooth plastic, resulting in what most of us would think is a “slip and slide” kinda thing. Dayla and Sebastian quickly discovered that this was their “ice skating rink”. They slide around the water standing up and “ice skating”, laughing hysterically all the while. Recently they discovered that it is just as much fun to slide on their stomachs, and also to get a running start to a jump and a massive slide.

Each time we do this now I am drawn to leave whatever task it is I am trying to get done and come to watch them. They laugh infectiously and they egg each other on in the cutest of ways to try new “tricks”. It is pure delight and everything that summer should be about. In my world, it is a bit of heaven on earth.

I have more than several pictures and videos capturing this, however most of them feature either my kids wearing only their birthday suit or in underwear (maybe not so appropriate for the internet), so you will just have to imagine their smiles and laughs. When they day comes that I make this into a memory book, I will definitely include all the photos.


I know I have shared it before, but painting is one of the most precious things to me.

My mom in her past life was a painter (and a very talented one!) and I still remember the joy I felt the first time I painted…and the way my heart leapt with delight every time I painted after that. There is so much emotion, joy, and fond memories for me wrapped up in painting. So of course, sharing painting with my kids fills me with much elation.

We have been on painting hiatus for a while, mostly because I knew that Sebastian would love to do it, but I wasn’t sure I had the patience to deal with a child not quite ready. Yesterday however, yesterday was the day. Sebastian painted for the first time, and I brought out my easel for Dayla.

Again my heart leapt with joy.




It cracked me up that he preferred to use the brush to using his fingers. I introduced both to him, but I think he loves to be just like his sister.

Just for fun I looked up the first time I introduced Dayla to painting:


Funny enough it was right around the same age. Dayla painted for the first time at 23 months, Sebastian at 20 months. So apparently just before their second birthday is perfect the birth day of painting. 🙂

Our Animal Lover

So back in February Sebastian started spending time with the chickens pretty regularly…and it has gotten worse. Dayla is an animal tolerater…other kids I know seem to either like animals or really like animals… Sebastian…he LOVES them. I think he is officially an ANIMAL LOVER.

A couple months ago we were at a park and a women riding a horse walks by. Sebastian is squealing and clapping and pointing like a crazy person, the other kids barely notice. When she kindly stops and asked if our kids want to pet the horse, Dayla shys away, and Sebastian runs toward the horse with no fear of this giant animal. We talk about how to approach animals, how to let them smell you first, how to always approach them from the head and not from behind, and how to be gentle. He soaks in every word. Now when we are at the park he asks before petting the dogs and let’s them smell him first. He is patient and gentle…but SO EXCITED.

Since we don’t have dogs, cats, or a horse, Sebastian spends a lot of time waving to our fish or with our chickens. Sometimes he watches the chickens for an hour or so, but mostly he would prefer to be in the coop with the now. I am so curious to see if this sticks.

In January:

In June:

In July:

Wedding Season

This June Daniel and I not only got the invitation to shoot another wedding together (Congratulations Stephanie and Glenn! We love you both and had so much fun!!), the weekend after we got to go as guests to two weddings (both Daniel’s cousins)!

It was so fun not only to be a part of the wedding season of life again…to soak in all the love and beauty and joy of that stage….but to see how each wedding was so INCREDIBLY DIFFERENT.

Stephanie and Glenn’s wedding was small and intimate with only about 35 people there, but it wasn’t small in laughter or love. Right on the cliffs of La Jolla above the beach, they had some of the most profound wedding vows I have ever heard and the warmest, most welcoming family I have ever been around. It was a blessing and an honor to be a part of their day.


Daniel’s cousin Taryn lives in San Diego with us and has been one of the biggest supporters of my photography business and is one of those girls who lights up the room when she walks in. Their wedding was full of that light that Taryn brings to the room…in more ways then one.

Taryn once told me that her style was something between disco ball and vintage…and their wedding couldn’t have captured that more perfectly. But it wasn’t just the decor that was incredible (although she made much of it herself), Taryn has the biggest heart and makes everyone around her feel like they are the most important person in her life…and you could see that at the wedding too. The whole place just felt lit up in such a magical way. Two young lovers united…two families who grew up next to each other becoming one big family…it was awesome.

Justin and Taryn were surrounded by family and friends who love to laugh and celebrate…and that is what it was…an incredible night of love, laughing, and celebration.




One of the best part about family weddings is getting to see family reunited. below is Daniel’s mom Celia is on the right, and the father of the bride is Stu on the left.

(Left to right: Stu, Amy, Jon, Laura, and Celia)


And of course we had to capture the kids of all those brothers and sisters.
The cousins (left to right): May, Kristy, Keith, Taryn, Daniel, Kendra, and Eva.



Here is Keith and his love Alex:


And I love this one of my love. Nothing like going to a wedding to realize that I would marry him again in a heartbeat.


The last wedding of the month (and season) for us was Daniel’s cousin Chris’s wedding to his beautiful love Dayna.

I don’t know Chris very well, but the wedding was full of sports references, dancing, laughing, a lot of happy tears and a lot of love.





The thing that made Chris and Dayna’s so unique was that they invited children to their wedding! I love how that gave their wedding a whole different kind of feel, beauty, and love. I loved getting to see a wedding through Dayla’s eyes; it made it feel like fairy tale… and there was just a lot more silliness and joy…which made it incredible in so many ways.




Dayna and her dad…


Chris and his mom. This had to be the sweetest mother/son dance I have ever seen….


And celebration of family re-united! This is Daniel’s dad (left) with his sister Vicki (Vicki is Chris’ mom) and their spouses.


A little sibling picture is always fun too.
(left to right is Daniel, Kristy, and Keith)


And phew…that was June! What a wonderful month of love and celebration!

Train Table

Daniel has gotten in the hobby of building things. It is fun to watch him so passionate about his new hobby and fun to watch my house fill up with beautiful new things!

The other day we got some hand-me-down trains from Grandma, so Daniel thought it was only appropriate to build a train table for those trains. It is gorgeous, and needless to say, Sebastian is one lucky little dude.