First Haircut

She has gone with Daddy to the barber at least 20 times to see how it works.  She agreed that when she turned 4 she would try getting a haircut herself.  We talked and talked and I was certain it would be a fun adventure for all right after she turned 4. Then, just a wee bit before her 4th birthday she saw the movie Tangled (Rapunzel) and, much to our dismay, she decided that cutting her hair was not in the near future.

Then one night, while she was playing a game on the computer and I was brushing her hair after bath, I happened to mention that I could give her a haircut right there, “if you want”.  “Okay” she said.  With every ounce of restraint I have, I managed not to scream with delight and make a big deal about it….I just calmly grabbed scissors and started cutting.  Then, as calmly as I could, in my “it’s no big deal” tone, I asked Daddy to grab the camera.


February 1st, 2012

4 years old. Dayla’s first haircut, my first time cutting hair. We were both excited about it and happy with the result, so I would say it was a huge success.

Our Little Ballerina

She loves to dance.  Graceful, poised, and with a bit of flare.  I thought certainly she would love to take a ballet class with the amount of ballet that gets danced around our home.  And she actually DOES WANT to take a ballet class, that was until she heard you have to wear your hair up.  But like any other mother, I just figured that the desire for the class would eventually outweigh the desire for the hair to be down. I was wrong.  Our girl knows what she likes and sticks by it.  So the dreams of having a little ballerina daughter had drifted away to almost a distant memory.
Fast forward to the beginning of this week.  Dayla’s friend from school Katelynn mentioned that she was going to take a ballet class at our local Poway library.  “WHAT?!  This is NEW?”  Yes, it was new. And the best part, no rules.  Or as Dayla said, “Mom, I have to listen to the teacher’s rules of course…but no rules about HAIR.”






So we went.  Tutu, leotard, flip flops, and hair down.   Katelynn (who is the perfect balance to Dayla) encouraged her the whole time (to not be shy) and Dayla encouraged her back (to listen to the teacher).  The absolute perfect scenario.  It was the best.  She loved it and I was in mama heaven for those 45 min.  I am so proud of my little ballerina…who of course (according to this proud mama) was the best in the class.

We will plan on going back again next month for sure!

Meeting Magnolia June


Magnolia June Caver

Born January 21,2012

5 pounds, 5 ounces

Just a wee thing compared to her brother and sister who both weighed in at 10 pounds 2 ounces at birth…and compared to her cousin Sebastian who weighed in at 10 pounds 11ounces, I thought it would be fun to put her daddy’s watch on her to show her tiny size.  She is a  happy and healthy girl, and not short on the sweetness….

Although we got the chance to meet Magnolia aka “Maggie” the day after she was born, Dayla and Sebastian finally got their introduction to their sweet new cousin this last weekend.  Sebastian and Maggie just happened to be wearing the same onesie when they met, not at all planned!  So of course we had to snap some pictures:

I love the shot on the right where it looks like Sebastian shocked at his GIANT size in compared to his tiny cousin. Then of course Dayla wanted to jump in. Loving her new babies that girl is.

I think it is fair to say that everyone was smitten with each other.

Foundation of Love

Dayla’s love and affection for Sebastian melts my heart on a daily basis.  And it is not just one sided!  Sebastian tracked Dayla’s voice before he tracked ours.  He stops crying for her just as fast as he does for me (if not faster).   I keep waiting for the ball to drop, for her to hit him or tell me how much she doesn’t like him, but I tell you as of right now this girl has had nothing but affection for her baby brother.  I know there will probably be days to come with kicking and screaming and slamming of doors… I am not naiive, I have 6 siblings…but I think in a way that is what makes this time all the more special.  I think it is so beautiful that the beginning of their relationship is affection, joy, and love.  And on the day when he breaks her most beloved toy or she knocks down his lego tower, I hope that somehow, some way, their hearts will remember these days.  I hope they always remember that their first days together were filled with laughter and hugs.



Minnesota Nice. Sebastian’s First Plane Trip.

It was a bit of a whim really, but all the pieces just seemed to line up so perfectly.  I am on maternity leave from work (so I have the time),  the dates worked for them, the tickets were cheap (since it is COLD there), Sebastian is the perfect traveling age, and it has been entirely too long since we have seen each other. And so that is how this story began.

On February 8th, Sebastian took his first plane trip and he and I flew to Minnesota to visit our good friends, Beth and Justin (and their kids Haley and Matt).

I don’t know much about Minnesota besides that it is cold there, and that the Mall of America is there.  So of course I was ecstatic to experience both!

Haley, Sebastian and I

Day one was the Mall of America. It is definitely huge and impressive with it’s theme park in the middle.

5.7 degrees and with the wind chill it was said to “feel like -3 degrees”  Brrrr.  It was fun to experience for a bit; stings the toes and bites the nose is a VERY appropriate description of that kind of cold.  I also really liked learning how they have different things to make life easier with the cold (for example the mall has lockers where you put in all your coats and winter gear while you shop) and liked seeing that girls there still do wear dresses (I was wondering what Dayla would do if we lived there) just with tights and jackets and Ugg boots to make dresses a real option.

Here is Sebastian all bundled up for the cold:

On day two we went to “The conservatory” which had a tropical plant area, zoo animals (inside) and a beautiful building with a glass roof (that made it a perfect place to take pictures!) It was so fun and so beautiful.

Beth loves to take pictures, so this is the view I saw a lot. I was happy to see that my Dayla is not the only kid who gives her picture taking mama a hard time. 😉

I couldn’t help but jump in and want to capture the beautiful model in this beautiful place with the perfect light too.

And every photographer mama wishes that she had more pictures with her own kids, so I didn’t hesitate to ask Beth and Haley to jump into the yummy light so I could capture these:

Day three we hung around the house and then took a trip to the store “Archivers”. Beth and I used to scrapbook with our friend Kristy (a scrapping trio if you will) and every time we scrapped together we would hear Beth sing praises of the store Archivers: a store in her home town and the “best scrapbook store ever”. Of course I had to go check it out. $37 dollars and two hours later, I admitted to Beth it indeed is an AWESOME store. 🙂 I don’t have any pictures of Archivers, but I did capture some of our jammy time in the house.

Meet Matt:

One of the sweetest things was the way that Matt took care of Sebastian while we were there. Matt is just two, but he was SO interested in Sebastian and loved to “take care” of him by bringing him toys and rocking his chair and watching my every move. It just melted my heart so of course I had to capture a pic of Sebastian and his buddy together:

An awesome trip! The only bad part about it was having to leave. Beth and I were pregnant together with our firsts (Dayla and Haley were born just two days apart) and when Haley was just 6 months old Beth and Justin decided to do missions work in Austria.  There have been so many times since they left that both Daniel and I have missed them, but being with them  helped me to remember how amazing they truly are, and just how dear they are to my heart.  And of course Haley reminds me so much of the girls here so I wish they could all be friends.  Dayla has told me more than once (when she sees pictures of Haley), “I am sure we would be the best of friends”…and I know in my heart that would be true.  And now Sebastian and his buddy Matt.  Oh how we wish you were here Higgins family!  For now, we will just enjoy our pen pals…and plan our next trip!

Thank you Beth and Justin for your hospitality and for a wonderful time! I loved meeting your littles and loved spending precious time with you! Until next time…

Second Child

Although I had heard it was possible, I definitely doubted I could love another as much as I love Dayla, but it is true. My heart has grown twice the size and it overflows with love for our little guy.


The joy I had as a first time parent was overwhelming.  So much of that joy came from “look what we created!” I studied each hand, each foot, each breath, and each hair on her head, amazed that somehow that little being came out of me. Each “first” and exciting moment  brings a sense of joy and pride…”Look at my girl!”

With Sebastian the joy feels different. It feels less about me.  I have so much more clarity that he is in fact not mine at all, that I did not create him, God did and He is just letting me hold him for a little while. As I study his hands, feet, breath, and each hair on his head, the reality of what a miracle he is encases each thought I have.  I don’t know if it is because we waited and longed for him for what felt like an eternity, or if it is just the nature of the second child. However the way, I know in the depths of my heart that this little baby is my answered prayer (time and time again) and with each day I feel so blessed and lucky to be holding him in my arms.

I love having a second. I love the clarity that comes with it, the perspective, the lack of fear, the joy in each moment. I love that I know that the hard moments are going to be gone before I know it and that the sweet ones will too.

I love the way he lays right now on me when he sleeps: so limp, so trusting. He somehow knows that he doesn’t have to hold on, that there is no way his mama will drop him; I just love that.  (Captured by Daniel)


I love you little Bash.

Just Another Sunny Day

Last Thursday we had the world’s sunniest January day.

I promised ice cream.

That means we spent 2 hours killing time in the front yard waiting for the ice cream truck to come….and that lead to a whole lot of:

Dancing in the street….

…in pajamas and rain boots

Playing with our neighbor Sawyer

Finding out that Sawyer likes to model for the camera

and with a whole lot of coaxing (we had the time), so does Bean the dog….

The ice cream truck came and Dayla used her saved up “helper coins” to buy a Shrek Popsicle. Sawyer got a drumstick.  Brother Sebastian stuck to milk while the older kids enjoyed their treat.  It was a good day on Jolley Lane.

Baby vs. Baby

Comparing. It is just in our nature. We compare ourselves to others….and yes…we can’t help but compare siblings to each other. Do they look alike, act alike, talk alike? I know that one of 5 girls in my family, there was a lot of comparing going on.

The whole comparing babies thing is a super fun game to me. It is good natured and a lot of fun. Wanna play?  This is Dayla and Sebastian, both just over 2 months old.

…and with Dad….

…and the smiles…

I keep saying that I think Sebastian looks a lot like Dayla, “but with a bigger nose and a bit more square shaped head”. What do you think?

And His Name Will Be….

Almost 3 months before Dayla was born we announced her name.  With our little man it was more like 3 days.  Naming him was one of the most arduous tasks Daniel and I have taken on as a married couple.  Picking a name for a person, a name they will carry the rest of their life and will represent so much of who they are, is never an easy process.  We first found this out with Dayla, and then discovered naming a boy was EVEN HARDER.

Upon recent reflection, I realized it wasn’t fair that Dayla got a blog post about her name and our little man didn’t just because his parents had so much trouble deciding. So here we are with the announcement and background behind his name.

Sebastian Victor Sundin

What is in a Name?

Like his sister’s name, Sebastian’s name was one of the few names that met our naming criteria.  It was actually the first name we both agreed on, but for some reason Daniel and I were unsure if it was the one, so we continued our hunt for the perfect name for several more months. God knew that we had found the perfect name; he just waited for us to figure it out.

We searched high, we searched low.  We searched Swedish names, literary names, classic names, and unique (read: weird) names.  At the end of it all we narrowed our list down to some top picks and then asked Dayla which one she liked the best (trying to be clever so that we could get her opinion without having her leak the options out to the world).  “Sebastian” she replied with conviction.  We did our best to sell her on other names (you should have seen our efforts), but she was set on that one.  “Why do you keep saying other names?” she replied firmly to us, ” His name is Sebastian.” We sure do love our decisive 4 year old.

And so it came to be.

Sebastian is derived from the Greek word “sebastos” meaning “venerable” (venerable: accorded a great deal of respect, especially because of age, wisdom, or character) and closely related to the Latin “Augustus” of the same meaning. (Fun fact: one of the other names at the top of our list was August.  I thought it was pretty cool that there were two names on our list that were really one in the same.)  We loved the way it sounded, we loved that it reminded us of Bastian from Never Ending Story, and we loved that St. Sebastian was a pretty cool guy.

Victor is not only Daniel’s middle name (Dayla got my middle name, Marie, so it was exciting for Daniel to pass on his too); it was also Daniel’s paternal Grandpa’s name: Milton Victor Sundin, aka “Grandpa Vic”.  Grandpa Vic was one of the kindest men and most gentle souls I have ever met.  I barely knew him to be honest, as by the time I started dating Daniel he already had the beginning stages of Alzheimer’s, but when I sat at his funeral and heard the words spoken about him, I heard that what I had suspected was indeed true: he was one amazing, kind, gentle, and good man.  The strong silent type. The type of man I hope our Sebastian Victor will one day grow up to be.