February Moments


February was pretty cold and gloomy for the most part, so we spent all the time we could indoors, trying to find adventure in the little things.


But first, we kicked it off with a trip to Shriners.

It was a frustrating visit — there were some policy changes in the new year and we can no longer have new boots shipped to us when he grows out of them, meaning we have to make the trip to the hospital to get them. He went through five pairs of boots in the first year of his life, so it’s a lot of superfluous trips assuming he continues to grow as fast (which, I guess he won’t now that he’s not a newborn anymore… let’s hope!) and the hospital was SWAMPED when we went, so many families waiting to be seen hours after their appointment time, traveling from far away.. and here we were, taking up TWO appointments (doctor + orthotics tech) just to get the next shoe size up. It’s such a waste of their time and resources. The poor providers seemed really frustrated about it too, I’m guessing it’s an insurance-imposed decision… in the meantime, I guess people who travel from really far (some come from Mexico to this clinic!) will have to resort to buying the boots cash or something? So tough. Anyway, the plus side is Jonas’ feet look fantastic and we made it out of there in a reasonable amount of time, so I can’t complain — we have it pretty darn good compared to so many other families. But that’s what makes me mad: we were sitting in a patient room with another family who had to drive from far away, take off work, get their daughter molded for a scoliosis brace, then COME BACK to personally pick it up, etc. It’s expensive and difficult for these families.

All that to say, if you know a family whose child has a medical concern, remember that: they’re probably stretched really thin. Give them a break, maybe offer to help babysit kids or bring a meal on the days they have to travel. And if you’re their employer: find a way to make it work. Believe me, they’re acutely aware of the time they’re missing and guilty for having to take it off. They are sacrificing so much to give their child bright futures.

February is a big month birthday-wise: my mother, grandfather, aunt and husband all have birthdays! So the kids loved hiding in the dark and shouting “surprise” when Andrew came home the night before his birthday (he had to leave town for a few days) and baking (and eating) a fabulous Texas sheet cake.

They sure do love their papa! Jonas especially is becoming such a little daddy’s boy, it’s cute. He loves it when Adelina and Andrew play tag or horsey or whatever other active game and he follows them around giggling and trying to join in the action.

He also loves following Adelina around and imitating anything she does. (And vice versa sometimes, ha!) These two have gotten really good at playing together and I just love it!


(What a fun igloo they made at the library! Adelina didn’t want to leave it…)

They’re also really good at being naughty together… sigh. This day really made me mad — I had asked Adelina to serve him A LITTLE BIT and instead they decided it would be fun to dump the whole container on the floor and swim around in goldfish… oh boy.


Luckily I forgave them… eventually. Not before getting pretty mad though.


I read a good article on the studies surrounding gratitude and how we can teach it to our children — good stuff. (And also, based on her references I’m preeeetty sure the author is LDS, ha!)

We celebrated Valentine’s Day, and Adelina especially loved the bouquet of flowers Andrew snuck in the house while we were out 🙂


And the cute valentines we made for everybody!


We had a fun date night thanks to our Unbox Love subscription — highly recommend it!


(Ignore my crazy hair… ha)

Early in the month it was relatively warm, so we explored our backyard and found a fun hideout behind a clump of trees and the fence. Adelina loved playing hide and seek — we played that game a LOT this month.

Jonas loves playing hide and seek too, and it’s so funny watching him try to find his sister! Oh, and he’s really into “reading,” especially this cute book my dad sent when Adelina was little:

We had that one good snow day, and then we hunkered down into a deep freeze… which is finally starting to lift thank goodness!


We celebrated a very low-key Mardi Gras because I couldn’t find a single necklace or face paint kit or anything, so I just got some silly string and we played with it outside (I remember my dad doing that with me when I was about Adelina’s age), then had jambalaya for dinner and that was that. Oh, and the first week of the month was Chandeleur (French Groundhog Day) so we made crêpes (here’s more about the tradition + my recipe if you want to make some too!) — that’s a lot of February holidays including President’s Day!


This is me at about Adelina’s age celebrating Carnaval/Mardi Gras in Nice — they have a huge parade with floats covered in flowers, it’s pretty cool! I actually have memories of it, it was such a fun day 🙂

And then, I started my social media fast for Lent which has been… a bit of a challenge. But it’s good for me to push myself.

I’ve been practicing my photography a lot — participating in challenges, pushing myself to get creative, seeking out light in a dark month… It’s been good! And resulted in adorable pictures of Jonas 🙂


Here are more photos about “love” that I took around Valentine’s Day 🙂

By the way, this came as a surprise to my sister the other day who hasn’t seen him in a bit, but Jonas is for real walking everywhere now! It’s so fun to watch kids this age toddle about, and this cute kid is no exception… see?!

This is me trying to get ready by myself with the kids on a Sunday morning… it’s an adventure, and sometimes they ruin my makeup because I can’t keep it out of their hands fast enough…


One morning, Jonas managed to get hold of my hair styling product (which is a very goopy, sticky mess) and had taken two fistfuls of it and stuck one hand in his mouth, which made him gag and throw it up… in the matter of about a minute. That kid! But he’s also super cute and the sweetest cuddle bug, so I always end up forgiving him.

We had a bunch of quiet days at home — but that didn’t mean the kids didn’t have plenty of fun! Jonas loves to go into his sister’s room in the morning, and climb into her bed with her when he can. It’s pretty cute!


Adelina took a nap one afternoon, which was a pretty monumental occasion since she NEVER naps. She wasn’t feeling so hot and sure enough I paid for it later when she refused to go to sleep until 10pm, but she sure was cute and peaceful… at first she had cuddled up with me, and how can I refuse that?!


More indoor magic… Adelina’s room gets such great afternoon sunlight, it’s the best!


She had her end of year dance recital too (her teacher/dance school director is having a baby any day now so she decided to end the year early), and she loved it of course.

So did Jonas 😉 AND he was really good during the recital, thankfully.

She loved spending time with her little friends on playdates and at a birthday party, she has a few little girls close in age to her that she just ADORES and asks me to go visit every day… poor girl, she can’t get enough!


I know she’s going to just love school when the time comes in the fall. I’m not sure how I feel about her starting preschool though, it feels so odd to imagine her being gone part of the day!

We had a yummy raclette night — as you can see, it involves lots of cheese… much to everyone’s delight!

Oh and also in February… I cute my hair!!! It’s the shortest it’s ever been — and I LOVE it.

I have to make sure I style it — I prefer it with some wave to it than straight — but I’m really enjoying it and I think it looks great. We’ll see how long it lasts but so far I’m really enjoying it!

We got thank you cards from our friends’ lovely wedding we attended this summer, complete with prints from their photo booth… (What a nice touch, by the way!)

Ha ha. I’m so funny.

And there you have it — just like that, February is over! I’m definitely ready for spring!

Life · Traditions

Social Media Hiatus: an Update

I decided to give up social media for Lent again this year — I’ve blogged about it before here and here. This time I’ve been needing to pull away for a while and decided to go cold turkey again, unlike last year when I did a modified version (only using it when my kids were asleep). Frankly, it’s been a little hard. I don’t miss wasting time so easily, but I’ve been working a lot on photography lately and I have taken some photos I REALLY wanted to share on Instagram. Yes, it’s silly or probably vain, but I miss that feedback — if I show a picture to Andrew he’ll say it’s nice and then that’s that. It’s over. He doesn’t quite have the gushing gene, even though he does appreciate my talents (actually, he had printed out and framed some photos of mine when he asked me to marry him!) But maybe it’s a good reminder to print and display photos I love, so that they’re sticking around for longer.

And hey, if you’re here you get to see them now! 😉


And nobody clicks over here unless I post to social media to let people know I’ve posted, so I’ve had roughly three views in the last two weeks, ha! (I might enable auto-posting to Facebook when I publish to remedy that, come to think of it. Done!)

So yes, I’ve been feeling disconnected. I miss checking in on some friends’ lives — but on the other hand, I’ve also texted friends and actually communicated with others face-to-face. We’ve been to several play dates. So it’s been good for me, I think. And I realized the other day Lent is actually closer to 44 days… gah! But that’s the point, right? It’s supposed to be a sacrifice.

I’ll admit it: I snuck onto Facebook once or twice on the computer and caught a baby announcement (yay!) and plenty of political debates I hadn’t missed one bit. I even just re-downloaded Instagram and almost posted before telling myself how silly I was being and re-deleting it. The pull is strong.

So what have I done with all those extra in-between moments, what have I made of this that’s good instead of just plain white-knuckling?

Well, I don’t have my phone nearly as constantly on me (in my hand, in a pocket, at arms’ length) and therefore have been more available for the little requests like wanting to be held, playing a card game, giving extra cuddles to Jonas… I’ve pulled out my real camera more and captured some beautiful moments that make me happy…


I’ve spent more time with my husband instead of on my phone… I’ve read two books and just started a new one. (Hands Free Mama is really life-changing. The book is excellent but her blog is a great place to start grasping at what really matters ❤ It was a great way to kick off this social media fast.) We played outside in the snow and made treats together and I’ve also had mental energy to complete tasks for my church work.

I’ve also still used other things as time-fillers — it’s so easy to try to satisfy those bad habits. The photography forum I joined has become my go-to “I’m bored, let’s see what’s new” place, which isn’t ideal. I should go there to accomplish a specific purpose. And reading books in the evening can prevent conversation with my husband even if all the screens are off.

But this afternoon I set down my phone and spent some time reading an Ensign article that it turned out I needed to read, then texted a friend about it and received more pearls of wisdom and needed encouragement. And I got some real rest to fight off this nasty cold. And I held Adelina in my arms immediately when she asked for it.

So yes, it hasn’t been super easy. I honestly really miss Instagram sometimes. But I’m grateful for the chance to pull back and focus on the things I need to hone in on. This isn’t permanent, only a needed exercise to re-assess my priorities. And I’m sure grateful for these beautiful children who fill my days ❤




Snow Day

We got a really good snow this weekend, and we actually loved it this time! It’s been a super dry winter, which I haven’t complained about too much considering how bad last winter was… but by February my goodness it’s crazy how dry it’s been around here! For some perspective, this was last week:


And here is what we woke up to this morning!


It was much-needed. And Andrew was off since it’s Presidents’ Day, so we took full advantage of all that fresh powder!

Don’t be fooled by this face, Adelina loved it — until she was frozen and wet and ready to get back inside, ha!


Andrew built a little luge run, and a fort for Adelina, and they had a blast.


Adelina couldn’t get very far on the slide, but Jonas… he was in an awesome puffy snowsuit that was perfectly aerodynamic, and he loved it!

He can’t really walk or do much of anything in this suit anyway, so this was probably quite thrilling! (And I kind of want a snowsuit of my own, it sure is toasty and snow proof!)

Oh and we spent plenty of time indoors relaxing too — reading a good book on a snow day is the best!


So glad to have a good, fun family snow day out of this season ❤



January 2018: Little Pieces of Life

It’s already mid-February, if you can believe that. So here’s what happened around here in January!

I tried out a fun self-portrait:


(I’ve been doing a self-portrait on my birthday the last few years but this last year I totally dropped the ball… only 3+ months late, no big deal! Ha.)

Our kitchen counter tops + backsplash were installed and we finally painted the kitchen/dining area! We are LOVING our new kitchen — especially that sink/faucet combo!


Then I embarked (a little late) on Clean Mama’s January reset Clutter Challenge, and it was awesome. Until I got sick the last week of January. But I got a really great head-start on the year!


Lazy Susans for spices are a game-changer! Here are the ones I got, and it was so nice to go through all our cabinets and make things work better. I also got some of these bins to organize groups of pantry items — like all the baking powder, vanilla extract, cooking salt, etc. They’re a little pricey, but I think I might just order one at a time every so often from now on, because they are awesome and really help consolidate things!

That was a beast of a task though. (Plenty more on Instagram about that whole endeavor. I never did finish the last week though — clothes/bedroom closets — but at this point it’s going to have to wait for spring cleaning. Nothing wrong with giving up when the time isn’t right.) In other home improvement news, Andrew and I put together this cool little coat rack and finally got it up on the wall.


We have a teeny split-level entryway, so every inch of storage space gained is huge.

The kids also “helped” me hack an IKEA shelf for the end of the kitchen peninsula and it’s a perfect little spot for cookbooks, some kids’ books, and other kitchen items — we put bins of bottles/sippy cups.

It was slightly too tall so I had to cut it down a bit, then I had to re-drill holes and bigger holes for those round pieces that you turn to grip screws (if you’re an IKEA regular hopefully you know what I mean, ha!). I’m actually pretty proud that I managed to track down a new drill bit and make it work, because that turned out to be more complicated than I had bargained…

(They made some of their own additions, as you can see.)

And it was a good thing I got so much done early in the month because… then, I got called as Relief Society President in my ward (church congregation). Yup. Holy crap! (Actually, a slightly stronger word went through my mind when the Bishop dropped that bomb on me…) If you don’t know what that means, it’s essentially a volunteer ministry job, usually for 2-3 years, within our congregation. You’re in charge of running women’s meetings & activities, working closely with the Bishop for welfare efforts, etc. It involves a lot of visiting people, quite a few meetings and councils, and other organizational stuff. (The Relief Society motto is “Charity Never Faileth”) This is kind of cool, as I was reading through the description of exactly what was going to be required of me: in parts of the world where it’s needed, it is specifically the RS President’s responsibility to lead literacy efforts in her ward. I love that our church emphasizes lifelong learning and education ❤

And yes, it’s all pretty intimidating, and at times overwhelming. My greatest fear is that people will slip through the cracks and feel forgotten, ignored, or not needed. But I am grateful for the opportunity to do some good, and I feel like I’ve been prepared to take on the task in my last few months of gospel study — with a lot of divine help, which I know is something that is promised when we’re asked to do a lot. And I LOVE Relief Society and this work of ministering to the women of the Church, so here goes — soul, heart, and hand.

Meanwhile, Jonas continues to be his adorable self:


We celebrated Epiphany with some fabulous galette (more on the holiday + a recipe here) and mysteriously, Adelina found the fève 😉


Mmmmm… I might need some more…

Oh here’s a really BIG one: Adelina is officially potty-trained!


Remember how we started trying almost a year ago? And then gave up? It must have been time. Early in the month I decided to give it another go so we talked it up (and, well, this may be helpful to someone else so I’ll include it even though it might be a little TMI… but we gave her Miralax for a few months before that to make sure things were working VERY smoothly. Some mom friends of mine swear by it and I really think it’s what helped push us over the edge this time. That, and timing of course.) and prepared a sticker chart and promised a special gift if she could fill up the chart.


And you guys, she filled up the chart in A DAY. I almost couldn’t believe it and was a little nervous to get her her prize so early, but she legitimately did it and I didn’t want to be making empty promises, so we celebrated the crap out of that achievement! (ha ha sorry, I couldn’t resist the pun!)


I love how when I said we’d go to the store to buy a special toy she knew exactly what she wanted — and we hadn’t been to this store in quite a while! But she kept talking about the baby with ice cream, so you better believe we went and found that baby with ice cream. She was so proud, we brought her sticker chart to show the lady at the checkout and she high-fived her and partied along with us, it was really sweet 🙂

Oh the things you do once you have kids… ha ha!

And I was worried that it was all happening too fast, but since then we’ve only had a handful of accidents and at this point I’m not constantly on edge anymore. I am SO PROUD of this queen of the porcelain throne!


And I can’t believe she’s such a big girl… snif. She even refused to wear a pull-up at bedtime the other day! What?! I wasn’t anticipating that for a while!

One day I was holding Jonas (I think he was sick on this day and needed extra cuddles) and Adelina brought her baby over too 🙂

Speaking of growing up: Jonas took his first steps in January, and he hasn’t looked back since. Isn’t that adorable baby waddle the best thing ever?! The first week or so Adelina would yell “JoJo’s walking!!!” and point every time he took a few steps! I think she’s finally gotten over the novelty of it now, but it was sweet to see her cheer him on too.

He also loves to climb, and rough house, and “talk,” and eat. I just love this chubby little bundle of adorable. He gives the sweetest hugs.


And he obviously loves bath time, although two kids in a tub definitely means twice the splashing… ha!

It’s actually been a really mild winter compared to last year — hardly any snow and what we do have is melting! But I’m still wimpy about the freezing wind, so we’ve mostly played indoors. The kids are starting to really play together (or at least around each other) and it’s so fun to peek in on them in Adelina’s room.


(That shot above is from our new Wyze Cam and I HAVE to share because it’s a $20 home/baby cam! Yes, you read that right. TWENTY dollars. And the quality is just as good as a $70 one we used to have that a certain little girl destroyed… The only hitch is it’s stationary — you have to physically rotate it yourself, it hooks up to your phone and has two-way audio and all that but you can’t remotely make it turn, if that makes sense. But honestly it’s not a feature I really used anyway. Once it’s set, it’s set where you want it. And it just completely obliterates all those fancy $200+ babycams on the market because it’s so cheap!)

Jonas is really into books right now, he carries them around the house with him and it’s adorable. He also loves to lounge on beds — preferably his sister’s!

Adelina did some exploring on one warm(er) day, it was so fun to look out the window and follow her traces!

Some more pretty snow and jack frost the other day on our kitchen window:

Of course, I can appreciate the snow and ice much better from inside the comfort of our home rather than on the road trying to get to medical appointments two hours away… ugh. So glad last year is done and we’re not dealing with casts anymore.

Here’s one thing we’ve been doing for lunch lately: I’ll make a sandwich or noodles (Adelina could eat (and frequently requests) noodles for breakfast if I let her…) but I’ll throw together crudités on a plate first so she snacks on this while waiting for the carbs — and I do too! I actually feel really full when we do this for lunch, and often all I even want is half a sandwich to go with it. Radishes have made a big comeback at our house and she made a face the first time or so but I kept offering and now she likes them!


We had a pizza night too, and that’s always fun for this girl 🙂 Plus, they just taste awesome. This is the pizza dough recipe I use — it’s an Italian thin crust and the flavor is perfect.


We went to “enrichment day” at the nursing home — it’s organized by the woman who does story time at the library to get kids and elderly folks spending time together, and it was a blast. January’s theme was mad science, as you can see 🙂

Jonas’ current favorite spot… ha!

What he’s holding is a nebulizer the doctor gave us after he got a nasty cold and cough that lasted forever… again… and my MIL hinted it might be asthma. My husband and his siblings all had it as kids, so we gave it a try and it definitely helped. Jonas took to it pretty well, luckily we only need to use it when he’s sick. It helps a ton to play videos of himself while we do it! (Like this one) So anyway, he doesn’t have an official diagnosis or anything but we’ll see as he grows up. Nothing scary like seizures or asthma attacks, just some rough nights where he’s up all night coughing and hacking because the poor kid is drowning in mucus!

Never affected his appetite though!

This boy is such a ray of sunshine in our home. I mean, those are some seriously kissable cheeks!

Then I got sick near the end of January and all my big re-organization projects came to a screeching halt. But you know what? It was kind of nice to just rest at home with my favorite little people and stay in PJs all day morning for a change. It was a good reminder to slow down sometimes and just take it easy. Adelina asked me to read her plenty of books and Jonas took awesome naps and I was happy to just soak them up. It was a nice moment of calm.

Some pretty light reflecting off Adelina’s mermaid pillow, which her cousin now has her calling a “Larry” — long story…

Jonas had some early mornings, I think the nap schedule is starting to shift and I’m just not ready to be up and at ’em at six am…

And I put a few finishing touches on the guest bedroom — which is also Jonas’ room. I love this beautiful baby quilt we were given for his birth, and I’d love to build off of it for the decor in here but I’m just stuck on neutrals! I guess it’ll be the lone color pop 😉 I should put some covers on those throw pillow inserts though, ha.

Andrew and I opened our first date night box — that was one of my gifts to him for Christmas. We’re trying out Unbox Love for now and just got our February box, so I’m excited to have our Valentine’s night! What I really like about this box so far (there are a lot of different subscription date night services out there) is that it has a game and other items you can actually reuse — January’s had a cool wooden massage roller, for example. So far, so good!

Oh, and we saw The Greatest Showman! It absolutely lived up to the hype, and we loved it. It’s so fun to go to a movie that just transports you to another, magical, song- and dance-filled world. And it was awesome to come home to ice cream and sleeping children. (Hey, we’re starting the year off strong — two date nights in a month?! Go us!)

Speaking of Christmas gifts, my other gift to Andrew was a ukulele. He mentioned once in passing that it would be fun but I completely surprised him with this one! He’s been learning a bunch of songs. It’s so fun to have some sweet music and the kids love to sing along too, I love what it does for the mood in our home — and it’s a nice way for him to relax from what can be a stressful job at times.

And since that book is peeking out from the coffee table, that reminds me that I read 1776 (by David McCullough) and finished Getting Things Done (by David Allen) last month. 1776 was not quite what I expected (I thought it would be an overview of the revolutionary war, but it’s a point-in-time snapshot of only the year 1776) but really interesting, and certainly gave me a better appreciation of the overwhelming odds against the patriots. Frankly, it’s miraculous that we ever won our independence. Some truly extraordinary people and extraordinary events — and extraordinary circumstances. And I’ve talked about GTD before but I reiterate: it is amazing. If you feel like you’re constantly running after your to-do lists and letting things slip, this is life-changing.

Which makes it funny that one book I want to read in February is Hands-Free Mama and has “burning the to-do list” in the subtitle… ha.

And that’s a picture-overloaded wrap — phew! I need 31 days in February!

Life · Organization

To Dare Greatly

“The credit belongs to the [woman] who strives valiantly”

I’ve been thinking a lot about goals for the new year. Yes, I know, it’s the January energy burst which will soon be followed by three more long months of winter and monotony… But I’ve been wary of goal-making the past few years because I struggle so much to keep to them. I always have such lofty goals and then fail to even begin to implement them.


But this year is a different kind of year. I’ve realized it’s not my will or dreams or desires that are defective: it’s my methods! I just don’t have the proper tools to implement all of this, and that’s what needs to change. You can find so many TED talks and articles and books about change, goals, progress, habit-stacking, getting things done (<– life-changing, and I say this with no exaggeration) etc. so you don’t need the whole speech from me. I even heard recently that sharing your goals with people actually makes you less likely to achieve them, because the satisfaction of people acknowledging the lofty goals gives you satisfaction and you almost sort of feel like you’ve done the work. (Crazy how our brains work, right?!)

All that to say, as I finish out my twenties, that’s been one of my greatest lessons learned: it means nothing to have dreams or goals without a viable plan to make those things happen. (oh, and networking/connections… but I won’t go off on that tangent for now!) This has been the missing link a great deal of my life so far, and this is the muscle I need to flex. I always thought I was just lazy — turns out all I need is a good brainstorming session and a next actions list. (OK, I may be a little bit lazy too… ha!)

AND, here is one simple tool I desperately need: REVIEWING FREQUENTLY

Every time I make big goals, I do this to myself. I dream, I write them all out, I might even do some outcome visioning. But then, my dreams and goals list goes in a drawer or disappears in a long list of email drafts on my phone, never to be seen again. So this year, here’s my one goal I WILL share: I want to be better at regularly reviewing my plans. It’s OK to have big dreams, but to make these things happen I need to be taking small, regular steps to get there.

A friend of mine has her Sunday evening planning sessions — she pulls out the planner, checks her projects/goals lists, syncs calendars with her husband, asks herself how she’s doing. I love that, and it’s just the thing I need! Some time set aside for introspection and planning.

(Speaking of tools: Believe it or not, I’m still going back and forth on using a paper planner or not this year… sheesh! I used to be such a believer in holding something in your hands, until I realized it wasn’t working for me that well, then I switched to my phone calendar but it’s so easy to ignore or dismiss notifications there too, and I hate that I can’t get a glance-type view with it. Sigh.)

With that being said, I know many people who like to have a “word of the year” to guide their thoughts and energies. I’m not good at drilling down to a single word, but this next quote contains exactly the spirit of what I hope for this year. I want to dream big, and I hope to get better at finding the tools to make those dreams happen. And I sure could use some beautiful words to keep the fire alive!

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

― Theodore Roosevelt

And I can’t forget our traditional “first morning of the year in PJs” photo 😉 Happy New Year, friends!


I’d love to hear about your favorite change/habit-forming/progress/planning tools! Paper planner? String around your finger? Multiple alarms throughout the day? Quotes? Let’s hear it!


2017, You’ve Been Grand!

We are spending the night in — the whole family has a cold so we are taking it easy! And believe me, I plan on being in bed well before midnight. (Besides, it’s already been 2018 in France for hours so we’re all good!)

In the meantime, we’ve been looking back on a year that has generally been pretty good to our family ♥️

In January, Jonas finished casting and went into BNB — he now has beautifully corrected feet! He wears his brace at night and never seems to mind, so it feels like we’re out of the deep end of the clubfoot pool. (Read more about our clubfoot journey here)

We survived the long, cold winter.

Adelina went from an adorable toddler to a real little girl, and it’s incredible. I love that we can have actual conversations, how she remembers every little detail and brings things up weeks or months later. I love to see those little wheels turning, and I love her sweet spontaneous hugs after we’ve driven each other crazy ❤

Andrew survived his first year in a very stressful new job.

In February, I joined a nonprofit organization as translation coordinator and traveled for a group presentation in the spring. To be honest, I’ve talked about it very little “publicly” because it was a lot of work and I worried about announcing things and then burning out. And I was right about that feeling: I ended up handing off my responsibilities and taking a major backseat this last month (I’m staying on in a consulting role) because it was too much stress and responsibility with two small kids at home. This balancing act is tricky, and it got to a point where I would resent my children for making demands on my time. It’s not where I wanted to be, so I thankfully I managed to listen to the quiet but insistent promptings to step back. I am however grateful for the opportunity to have played a small role in setting up procedures and getting the ball rolling. I know I was able to give some good time and talent to the project and to a cause that’s very dear to my heart, and I know it’s in good hands now as well.

Adelina and I did plenty of cooking together — she’s my favorite little sous-chef! And I love how she loves it, she’ll frequently ask to “faire la cuisine” with me ❤

My little sister got married! It was so fun being a part of it all — I actually got to do their engagement photos for them too, and I’m pretty happy with how they turned out. It doesn’t hurt that my sister is basically a model 😉


It was just a lovely event overall. Always a wild time when we have the four sisters together!

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(Sarah Tagg Photography is the lady behind the lens at the wedding!)

We traveled to France and Switzerland this summer — a whole month for the kids and I, soaking up family and friends and sunshine and incredible food and sights. (And yes, I still haven’t blogged any of it… need to get on that ASAP!) We also got to attend a dear friend’s wedding while there — total serendipity that we were going to be at the right place, at the right time!


And Andrew repainted the living room in secret before joining us, because… we bought our house! (Isn’t he amazing? I walked into the living room and it took me a few seconds to realize what had changed. It looks so much better!)


Andrew completed coast guard recruiter training in September, and we survived without him for three weeks — longest we’ve ever been apart! In the meantime I renovated half the house, ha.

Adelina started dance class in the fall and LOVES it. It was so much fun watching her at her first recital ever ♥️


And no, she’s still not potty trained… We were off to such a great start, but got completely stuck on number 2. Blah. That one is definitely on my list for 2018…

We almost finished repainting the house, and we celebrated eight years of marriage. Crazy how time flies!


Andrew and I traveled to San Antonio for a work conference in October and took Jonas along, while Adelina spent time with her grandparents. It is such a cool town!

I started a daily photography project at the beginning of the year and learned and practiced so much. I kind of fizzled out with the daily part of it after France though… but rallied to end the year strong enough! I’m definitely not doing daily photos next year — that was intense! — but Andrew got me a membership to a photography group (Clickin Moms) for Christmas and I look forward to taking my skills to the next level and improving more this year. My goal is to get the camera out once a week in 2018. I’m so grateful to have so many beautiful photos of my family thanks to this project!

We hosted Thanksgiving (OK it was only two people, my sister and her husband, but it was still fun!)


Andrew and I both got a little better at trying to achieve our fitness goals. He’s been losing some serious weight — I’m so impressed and proud of him for getting up early in the freezing cold and moving every morning! — and I am finally getting myself to the gym regularly (I also started an adult ballet class, which feels so amazing). Still a good ways to go (especially because I smashed my knee into our garage floor while tripping over something last week… ouch!) but it feels good to have started a bit of a rhythm.

And, we had a beautiful, wonderful Christmas


Here’s to a new year, full of lofty goals (hooo boy. I want to at least try) and good times with this beautiful family of ours!


(Video made with an app called 1SecondEveryday — not a free app but it’s worth it!)


Jonas’ First Haircut

Snip snip… and just like that, Jonas had his first haircut this week!


Not really much of a difference, but he was getting some serious wisps around the edges. My mother-in-law was brave enough to hold him as he squirmed and tried to grab the scissors, and I had to make it brief so I wouldn’t poke out an eye! It’s not exactly perfect, but I at least managed to trim it and clean it up a bit around the ears.


And there you have it! Love those teeny baby hairs! Our boy is growing so fast… 7 1/2 months old already!