Our House

When we first bought this house 7 years ago I didn’t love the house paint on the outside, but it was only a couple years old so it just didn’t make financial sense to change it. I loved the red door, but just not the tone of the red (pink-ish maroon).

My logical side put painting the house on the back burner.

Now 7 years have passed. Doing cosmetic changes on a house are so hard to convince yourself to change. I mean, we don’t NEED it. The house is perfectly functional and beautiful the way it was.

However something happened this month. I don’t know what it was that put a bug in our bonnet, but Daniel and I talked about updating some things on the front of our house. Maybe because the two houses next to us are both up for sale and so we are inspired to give our house a little face-lift too? Whatever the reason we bit the bullet and went for it. We couldn’t afford to paint the whole house, but Daniel painted the eves, the front door, all the window frames, and the back doors. We got a new mailbox, new house numbers, and a new porch light. I put in some cactus plants in front flower bed.

Although none of it was needed per se, I am so glad we did it. I feel like the outside of our house finally looks like US. It is ours. It is our style…it is so us. I love it. No I LOVE IT. So so much. Every time I pull into the driveway I get a huge smile on my face…it just feels like “our home” in a way it never quite did before.

Step one: painting garage door
Step two: new plants
Step three: painting eves and trim
Step four: painting front door
Step five: new mailbox, new numbers, and new porch light.

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Dayla’s 10th Birthday Party

This year I asked Dayla if she wanted to go somewhere (like Nickle City or Pump it UP) for her party like her friends get to do. She said to me, “But mom, you throw such amazing parties! I want to do my party at home!” I was flattered right into another over-the-top birthday party theme for my sweet Dayla girl.

For Dayla’s birthday party this year she asked for an emoji theme. I wasn’t sure what games could be emoji, or what activities we could do in that theme, or even what food we could eat in that theme…but I always say that I like a challenge!

We came up with some emoji pops (oreos dipped in yellow chocolate), an emoji birthday cake, and an emoji scavenger hunt.

The crown jewel of the party though was the photo booth! I made a background by taping some yellow plates on our wall, Dayla made all the props (that made people look like emoji faces), and then Daniel set up the tripod and snapped away. Instant photo booth! The kids LOVED this activity! We printed up the photos with one hour and photo and got to send them all home with personalized party favors. It was a hit for sure.

That wasn’t all! The party didn’t end at 5pm…for Dayla’s big 10 year old party we let her have all 12 girls spend the night! Phew!

All in all everyone had so much fun and the party was a big hit.










































Northern California Cousins Visit

We don’t get much time with the Northern Californian cousins and it always makes me a little sad, but I know that is life.

BUT…Suzanne’s family came to visit Southern California and we got to spend and few hours with them!! Seeing all the cousins get along…that makes me so so so happy! It was a short but SWEET time.

(I didn’t get pictures of the girls because they were off booggie boarding in the waves!)

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Work Trip

Every year Daniel has to take a work trip for about 10 days in August.  Every year it makes me:

1. Glad he doesn’t have to travel all the time for work

2. Glad to be married


This year I did something I have never done before.  I decided to take Grandma and Daddy’s approach they take when I am gone which is this: “Be so busy and have so much fun we barely notice you are missing”

I am not someone who likes to be busy…but I think this was by far the best year yet. The strategy totally worked.  The kids had a blast (which means less meltdowns which means less time-outs which means a less tired mom!) and since I scheduled in 3 overnights for them…I got some adult time and even some alone time (win-win!).  It was amazing.   Here are the highlights from our time…

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When our neighbors the Carlson’s moved in two years ago, I remember their daughter Adalee asking herself over to dinner at our house pretty much at first meeting. Her mom graciously moved the conversation elsewhere, but I remember thinking to myself, “One day, but we just aren’t there yet.”

This summer marked that day.

This last summer Dorothy gave birth to their 3rd child Charlotte and in taking time off from work and the craziness of three kids, we have just seen their kids a lot more….which means a lot more coming over to play…which led to a lot more “I watch your kids this day, can you watch mine that day” scenarios….which lead to dinners.

I recognize what a gift and a blessing this is. As I set the table tonight for 5 little kids, I smiled. I know one day there won’t be any plastic colorful dishes, or paper plates, and there might not even be neighbors that come over for dinner. I am so thankful for this moment, this part of the phase we are in, so I snapped a quick picture to document this blessing and this sweet time in our lives.


Step Three: New Office

At the beginning of this year we realized we wanted to give Dayla her own room, which lead to a three step room make-over.  First the living room updated, second Dayla’s room transformed, and last a new work space that Daniel and I could share.

Our shed got transformed to a work space a few years ago (thanks to the amazing advice and help from Daniel’s dad), but this year we needed to make it into a office and storage space that Daniel and I could share for years to come.

I really wanted a work space that I love to be in, but is also not too girly for Daniel.  Last December we spent a few days in San Antonio and we realized that we both really liked the “industrial” style decor that is exploding in popularity. San Antonio had some amazing examples of it at Hotel Emma, Local coffee, Cured restaurant.  Gorgeous spaces.  We love the mixture of modern, the metal, and the wood.  We plan on adding burlap coffee sacks to the wall to give it our own twist. We dreamed up a design for our office…

It started with our vision of a desk that we could share.

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Shelves for Sundin Photography stuff:



Our office is not exactly the way we want it yet, but it is getting there and we love it!


Lindsay Kids

Yesterday I watched the Lindsay kids.  What I meant to say was I GOT TO watch the Lindsay kids.  I love these kids so much…not only because they are great kids with big hearts, but they seem to bring out the best in my three monkeys. They just jive.  It is a huge blessing to have them in our life.

I knew I had to snap some pictures from our day because I want to remember how sweet friendship can be.  I pray my kids always have friends like the Lindsay kids….that make them laugh, bring out their best selves, understand them and their quirks, comfort them, and love them with a sweet love.

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The boys playing dress up….cause that is what boys who have older sisters like to do.  😉

We have a black bird, a peacock, and a phoenix. Makes me laugh out love and melts my heart all at the same time.


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Step Two: Dayla’s Room

Letting our girl get her own room was such an interesting process. Daniel and I were both transported back to the years we got to get our own rooms as teens. We remembered how our parents lovingly let us have some choices, but did not let us be dictators, as it was THEIR house. We appreciate now that we are parents that they didn’t give us all the power, so we tried to emulate that with our own Dayla.

There were some hard conversations. There was some joyous shopping time. All in all it was a beautiful time of growth for Daniel and I as parents and for Dayla in gratitude. In the end, Dayla has a beautiful room that she loves (that she got to make SOME of the choices on) and we are proud to be able to give her.






Step One: Living Room Re-do

We didn’t want to mark it with a date or a birthday, but knew that the day that Dayla should have her own room would somehow naturally present itself organically. The beginning of this year it did. So we started the plans of how we would move my office and all the things in it…which lead to envisioning a three step makeover process. Three rooms needed to change: Dayla’s room, our living room, and our back shed to become a duel office for Daniel and I.

Step one was dreaming up a living room space that would hold the items that needed to come out of our office. We also wanted a living room that would be great for now but would also grow with our kids as they grow. We wanted public computer space and work space. Less shelves for toys. I figured with all the things changing a style update would be a blessing too.

So with Daniel’s bonus from work and our in-laws willing to watch the kids for 5 days, we were able to make our new living room go from dream and vision to reality. Come see step one of our three room makeover!


Everything came out of the living room and we prepped the whole room for a new paint job.






Black wall. New cabinets hung. I envisioned a wall to wall desk for the kids. Daniel made it happen.


On the other side of the living room we did an update too! I really didn’t want the fish tank in the living room anymore and was hoping for a more “grown up” welcome/hallway table. I was so excited to find this dresser on Craiglist that someone was selling for next to nothing. I LOVE IT!! Isn’t it gorgeous?


After pictures:


New colors are black, white, gold, and browns. Simple. Modern. Classy.


Then the kids came home to see it all….we had kept how we were going to change the living room a complete surprise from them! They LOVE IT!



Black wall and modern might not be for everyone…but I LOVE how it turned out!