back to school

my kiddos went back to school today!

kindergarten for the marsh-man and seventh grade for the gibber.

here’s how the obligatory photo shoot went this morning.

marshall is his cute self, as per usual.

love being able to document his stats at the beginning of each year. gibson says he wants one for him now too.  🙂OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

if they could both just look at me at the same time, that’d be great.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

ah, there we go! love this shot!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

gibson was nice enough to snap some pics with me.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

i absolutely adore this photo. marshall was hiding from the camera and gibson was watching along. this is one i will cherish forever.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

he is sooooo ready.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA


….and you’ll never guess who is in marshall’s class again this year…the lovely alexis (aka, marshall’s girlfriend). they were both absolutely elated to see each other, showed off their backpacks and chatted until it was time to go in!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

and now, my very favorite school song…enjoy.

andrea_signature copy

week 45 wrap up

what’s up y’all? we’ve been living life over here, come see what we’ve been up to!

sunday | november 4:

a sweet note from marshall to my parents.

yay, football! this is why god created sundays.#fmsphotoaday day 4: tv. football is on all day, and I can watch my packers thanks to #nflsundayticket

monday | november 5:

a new blog series…to embrace the manic mondays.

homework help, everyday around 5 o’clock.
#fmsphotoaday day 5: 5 o'clock. helping the boy with homework and makeup work. #amomsdayisneverdone

tuesday | november 6:

my favorite shoes.

time to vote.

it’s no secret who i voted for. 

making sure we get our propositions right.

thumbs up for the freedom we have.

marshall and gibson’s order for dinner. love when he plays make-believe.

so tense about the voting results that we played some candyland.

well, i have to say i’m bummed. here’s what i posted to facebook shortly after the election was called.

wednesday | november 7:

honestly, how cute is this? i swear i didn’t make this happy face…it was just there when i went to brush my teeth. i totally needed to see this after the night we had.
tonight, marshall’s homework was to write things he’s thankful for on a yellow construction paper feather. he wrote it all by himself…

but i wrote out the list for him so he could see the words for himself.

gibson has more homework, and some makeup work.

after everyone was done with their work, the boys decided to play monopoly. which meant that marshall was learning on the job. they had so much fun and he really understood it.#30daysofthanks // thankful for how wonderful this 'alone time' is while Matt and Gibson teach Marshall how to play Monopoly in the other room.

this morning, the sun shone brightly in my mirror and i had to snap. #fmsphotoaday day 7: reflection.

thursday | november 8:

so much of this lately.

out with my mama tonight and saw the prettiest sunset behind the rain clouds.Untitled

we ate dinner at our favorite joint. the chips were the saltiest, the guac was the creamiest and the tacos were the tastiest.Yay for time with my mama! Chipotle and then scrapbook shopping!

love my mama!


our next stop was my local scrapbook store which, sadly, is closing their store and moving to an online outfit. i am so bummed because this is the only store within and worthy of the 25 minute drive. i will miss you green tangerines and the happiness you bring when i walk in to see all the shelves full of new lines and colors.

btw, that’s our receipt…what can i say…it was a mad sale!

#30daysofthanks // thankful for special time with my mom before her and daddy take off for 5 months. we ate at our fave place then cleaned out our local scrapbook store before they close their doors. and yes, that's our receipt!

some sweet pics with my mom and the boys before her and daddy take off again for southern cali for the winter. 


friday | november 9:

WOOHOO!!!! this is me doing my happy dance for mini quiches! so my office building provides a free buffet breakfast on fridays and for the last year, the quiches have been m.i.a.

but this week, they were back!!! and now my life is complete.


saturday | november 10:

first off, happy birthday to my sweet and lovely sister. MWAH! xoxo (little known fact: her and i are only 35 days apart. any guesses on how that happened?)
the sweetest thing went down this morning while the boys and i hung out in bed.

7:30 am run with my big dude. he’s a great running partner and keeps me moving when i just want to walk.Untitled

#fmsphotoaday can’t live without. my list is long, but here are a few things.#fmsphotoaday day 10: (just a few of many things) I can't  live without. it was cold, but my new running partner kept it fun!

sunday | november 11:

normally i do 12 on 12 or take12 on the 12th day of the month, but i have found that workdays are difficult to snap hour after hour. so, being the rebel that i am, i decided to do 11 on 11. sundays are the best days and i think today’s theme of laziness was certainly captured.


and there you have it! another week closer to thanksgiving and christmas. i am sooooo ready for this next couple of weeks!

mariokart birthday | handmade

last friday, we threw marshall his first official friend birthday party. because 5 is a big deal and it deserved a big celebration.

and because it was such a fun day, my dusty dslr got some love too.

a birthday party on the cheap is coming your way…..

start your engines….
for a mariokart tournament.

the birthday boy:


the prep:

working on the wall.

blue wrapping paper: $4
clouds cut out of cardstock: $0
letters and blocks printed on cardstock: $0
super mario font (downloaded for free from $0
mario picture cutout from a school folder: $.98 at walmart


making the coins:

gold fabric: 1 yard @ $2.99/yd at jo-ann’s
blue embroidery floss: $0 (already had)
embroidery hoops: $0 (already had)


making the brackets:

poster board: $1
name plates printed on cardstock: $0
restickable strips: $4 at walmart

we need these to move the names around during the tournament


the food:
getting the table ready

cheese balls: $5


peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, cut into star shapes. $5 for bread, pb+j and the cookie cutter

super bites:
bagel bites from sams: $8

yoshi’s tires:
oreo cookies: $2

block bites:
graham crackersPA120298
just cheeseballs: $5 at sams

straws + mustaches: $0 

duck tape wrapped water bottles
checkered duck tape: $3.50 at walmart

we had sams make the cupcakes and i made the checkered flags. just folded some tape around a toothpick.







goodie bags:
brown paper bags: $0 (already had)
M printed on cardstock: $0
slices of checkered tape

inside: mario fruit snacks, a baggy of fire balls, mario gel pen, mario stickers, gold chocolate coins and a mario bros. lego figurine

the tourney:

wii are super excited to play!


the prize table. 1st place will get 1st choice then 2nd and on…

marshall and grace are kicking it off!



the celebration and the breakdown.
marshall strightened out (after getting 2nd place) and congratulated her. he’s not used to losing but ended up being a good sport. 🙂

greyson and ashlyn



the standings so far…grace won first place!!


best buds!

cupcakes and candles:

5 candles for the birthday boy.

he got two so far…

2 hours later…

okay, he’s finally not blowing through his teeth…

just one more buddy!

ahhhh, finally!

happy kids!

he had such a good time and so did all the kids…even the adults! and to know we didn’t spend hundreds of dollars made it even more enjoyable!

week 39 + 40 wrap up

enjoying the little things these past two weeks.
doing what i can to observe these kids as they grow.
spending time at home and with my family.
letting go of the boundaries a bit too.

like letting marshall walk in the gutters so he could leave a trail of wet footprints:

and letting him pull me on our walk to target

and snuggle with my arm when he wants to be close

allowing him some quiet time to himself

getting what i can with gibson

getting in just one run this week

finding fun things for marshall and manny (the classroom mascot) to do together this weekend.




enjoying ice cream after saturday night service and letting him chat with a young couple who were all dressed up for their homecoming dance.

following the little one to whichever bouncehouse he wanted to at our church’s block party. and letting gibson go be with his friends.

being as happy as he was about this big slide after 20 times.

proud of his patience while waiting for his turn

getting back into the swing of #fmsphotoadayUntitled

embracing new trends
#fmsphotoaday day 1: where I stood (on the rocks. it was better than the floor at my office)

finding beauty in the sky

letting gibson go without a haircut for awhile.

loving this kid

giving marshall some game time

realizing the moon is still high in the sky when i’m driving to work

trying not to be upset that they forgot to put chick-fil-a sauce in my bag.

giving in to vending machine temptations

realizing that this kid is growing up quick
#fmsphotoaday day 3: this happened today (a: got Gibson's school pics, b: realized he's growin' up fast, and c: there's nothin I can do to stop it.)

enjoying the magic that can happen with a few ice cube lyrics
almost done with a little sketch that will be in my shop soon.  #handdrawn #sketch #gettinmysketchon

getting back into the habit of a bible study before bed. #shereadstruth
#fmsphotoaday day 4: what I read ( #shereadstruth on #youversion  //  sometimes #faith is difficult. it's tough, but sometimes you have to let go and let God. )

happy that my folks LOVE the custom illustration i made for their fifth wheel. 
a custom #handdrawn illustration I made for my parents. #barbedwire #cowboyboots #joshua1:9

and the joy of beginning a new illustration 
another #handdrawn illustration done. lyrics courtesy of #coldplay
catching sunrises on my way to work

pretending these are popcorn and chocolate

seeing some frost on the windshield

enjoying a peaceful run before the park gets full of soccer people

a long tall shadow in the early morning sun. morning runs are the best.

giving in to the new iOS 6. when they say 32 minutes, they actually meant 2 hours

looking forward to and thankful for actual fall temps. we had high 90s all last week to end september. it’s finally tolerable outside.#fmsphotoaday day 6: I'm thankful for......cooler temps.....finally! #norcalishotinseptember

just my attempt to capture what i can of these semi-lazy weeks.

hope yours were more exciting than mine.


all of a sudden he wants to be paid for living here…

what is this, you might be asking yourself. a craft? could it be? why yes, yes it is. thanks for being here for my first craft in what feels like ages.

i haven’t felt too crafty lately but the topic of allowance came up and my brain went into craftland.


it’s something we’ve never given gibson. our view is that there are certain things you do in a household and doing them shouldn’t result in getting paid. i don’t get paid to do laundry or clean bathrooms or feed them, why should a person half my size and whose only job is to go to school, get paid for doing much, much less?

but it’s probably time. and i didn’t fight it. i kinda welcomed it. because hopefully this means that he can start buying his own stuff instead of asking me to buy it for him. if he’s earning the money, he might be wiser with it. and there’s nothing wrong with that.

so i started jotting down chores that he MUST do to earn his allowance. and added some things that he could earn extra money for.


of course, pinterest, being my best friend and all, helped me along the way. 

this was the idea that i wanted to create:

Set of (10) CUSTOM Chore Magnets: Custom Chore Chart System

but wanted to make them myself, of course. so i bought wooden disks from jo-anns and decided to write on them myself. no time or patience for stickers or mod-podge for this project.

other items needed (not pictured here):

magnets, glue gun and scrabble tiles.

writing on the disks with pencil first allowed me to make mistakes without wasting anything. it erases easily.

i tried to write with the extra fine sharpie at first, but it didn’t write very well so i used the normal tip sharpie. it bleeds on the wood so write gently and make sure it’s a new one with a very pointed tip.

at the last minute, i got the idea to use the scrabble tiles i had left over from an old game. marshall helped me find all the letters we needed. 🙂 i used hot glue to adhere them to the cookie sheet.

then i glued the magnets to the back of the chore disks.

i stuck the sticky strips to the back and hung it in the hallway, close to the bathrooma nd his bedroom. basically a constant reminder.

and there you have it. 

anything he can do to earn his allowance + extras are kept up top.

when the item has been completed, he can move it down into the DONE section. if all 4 mandatory/included items are there by saturday at noon, he will earn his allowance for that week. he can get it earlier if he completes them earlier. like on thursday if he plans to hang out with friends after school on friday or something like that.

i think it will work. for him. for me. for good.


week 29 – 30 wrap up

because i like you guys so much, i’m giving you another double weekly wrap up!

week 29

what a weird week. gibson left for a week long camping trip with my parents on sunday and monday through wednesday just wasn’t the same at home. honestly, i was in a bit of a funk without him. he does something to this house. brings the energy up, even if it is annoying at times. i was really missing that. and so i guess i avoided taking pictures, subconsciously, because when thursday rolled around i noticed i had hardly anything for the week. ugh. what a funk.

but after i recognized what it was, i was able to move on, enjoy my time with marsh and matt, knowing i would see him on sunday. easier said than done. 🙂

also, #photoadayjuly has gotten away from me and so some of these pics are taken before or after the actual day but they are cool, just the same. so i hope you’re not confused.

thursday | july 19:

super tired after work and just needed to rest. so marsh played mariokart and i relaxed.

tagged by @byaimeeski : what am I doing right now? laying down while marsh plays mariokart. do needed that little rest after work today. now I'm tagging @kristymakes @__andrea @tastone @mustache_mama @reginawhitefoto

a photo taken of a butterfly that landed on gibson from the weekend before.
July 19: insect #photoadayjuly

friday | july 20:

#photoadayjuly: eyes. they get me every time. so much depth.july 20: eyes #photoadayjuly

saturday | july 21:

seriously, the feet? mmm. and how in the world can he sit like that? i’m still amazed.

ladies night…and it’s been a long time coming! tonight we celebrated the birthdays of two of my favorite girls ever and got to spend good quality time with two new friends, another one who i adore, watched a reserved friend get her groove on all night long. this was before all the drunkenness began…then we took lots of pictures of dancing and drinking. hey, a girl’s got to let loose sometimes right?

vintage hair and red lips help.
all dolled up for girl's night out last saturday! had a blast...of course!

one of my best girls snapped this one of us after dinner. i still love it even tho the quality sucks. it was right at 9 o’clock so it was perfect for #photoadayjuly!
July 21: 9:00 with @heathermoss (for super fun girls night) #photoadayjuly

sunday | july 22:

so what does a girl do early in the morning after a night out until after 2am? she gets up before 8am and drives 2 hours to spend the day with her parents and kids on an amazing campground so she can leave marsh for a few days and bring the gibber home. thankfully i was feeling good enough to make this drive…it was a very late night and i drank a ton of water on the way.
Over the river and through the woods, to abuelo and nonni's campsite we go!

i was so happy to have my gibson back! and he was obviously very excited to see me too…i love how we can both play for the camera!I got my Gibber back! Can't you tell how excited he is to see me?

my parents love camping with the kids…they really enjoyed all their time with gibson!

and after some time on the beach, marsh just wanted to snuggle.

week 30

monday | july 23:

DARK. KNIGHT. RISES. in IMAX. kinda awesome. and yes, i love superhero/comic movies. chick flicks just aren’t my thing (unless they are old ones that i grew up on) and rom/coms are just too sleazy for me these days.
so can i tell you something that i’m totally not ashamed of? cool. so the previews before the movie were more exciting that the movie itself!
uhhhh, the expendables 2? YES, please! i’ll have a willis, statham and hemsworth sandwich with a side of stallone, thanks!
a new superman movie? heck yes!
and a new bond flick with my fave guy daniel craig? DOUBLE YUMMY YES!

batman was good, yes. enjoyed it thoroughly. and this is what we saw when we came out of the theater. kinda cool right? the perfectly shaped crescent moon above the twinkling town lights. no words.


and for today’s #photoadayjuly, the mirror while we were driving to the theater was the perfect pic.

tuesday | july 24:

so gibson is at science camp this week. it’s a dept. of defense youth program that runs for kids entering middle school. when they aren’t designing, building, fabricating, calculating and testing their handmade rockets, they get to play on the flight simulators. could this kid be having more fun?


wednesday | july 25:

well……only if there was a huge water gun fight on the next day of camp! war paint and all, he had a BLAST!


and was so tired that he spent the rest of the day like this.

so i made a good dinner. salmon, brocolli and a creamy avocado pasta (found on pinterest)

i also got my marsh-man back today! abuelo and nonni drove him all the way home and he hugged and loved on me like he hadn’t seen me in a month! oh i missed him so…and was soooo happy to have him back!

oh…did i mention this was also my first day of vacation? yeah baby…i’m off work for 13 days! woohoo!

thursday | july 26:

taking advantage of early morning runs at the park.

marsh and i picked up gibson from camp today and marsh got to see the boys do the flight sims. i hope this program is still running when marsh is old enough. 🙂


we were supposed to go bowling after camp but gibson was tired again. i would be too, they have done lots of experiments and rocket math and calculations and metric olympics. wow!

friday | july 27:

another early morning run…god i love running in the mornings. it’s gonna suck when i have to go back to work and go back to running in the evenings. oh well…running outside is great regardless of the time. i’m a lucky girl.


today is the last day of camp so we need to be at STARBASE early to watch all the kids launch their rockets!


that’s gibson’s rocket! it went 364 feet in the air! his nose cone (which was where the parachute was attached) came apart mid-flight so the rocket didn’t have a graceful landing…but it flew and that’s what mattered!

the sun was blazing but you can see the trails from gibson’s rocket.

the smiles this kid has can brighten up even the sunniest days.

and what better excuse for chick-fil-a then a full week of sciencey things?
and i usually don’t give my personal opinion on such news items that the media deems to be controversial but here’s my take on the whole thing…this is america. a business and its owner can believe whatever he wants to believe and if it really bothers anyone, they can choose not to patronize there. i support conservative christian values but good lord people, there are so many other issues to spend time agonizing over. plus, chick-fil-a is freaking delicious! eat mor chikin.

and while waiting in the drive thru, i got this gorgeous shot of gibson’s hat.


but he was nice enough to let me take a good pic of him. he really is a handsome dude.

after we ate it was time to tackle the school clothes and supplies. because yes, it’s the dead middle of summer but we start school in just over 2 weeks. what’s most awesome is that we bought all supplies for marsh, some for gibson and all of their clothes and shoes for a total of $250! we stuck with graphic tees at target for both boys, a few pairs of plaid shorts and sport shorts for gibson plus we had kohl’s cash and got gibson a pair of vans for $0!!! yahooooo! oh and check out marshall’s first school backpack! mario of course!

as tired as we all were, i needed gibson to clean his room. it was an absolute disaster and i wasn’t going to have him start the new school year in such a mess. so the two of us worked for a couple hours and it made a huge difference. he even asked for his loft situation back so we moved his bed back on top and gave him an area underneath for his gaming and online time.

all his old clothes got a spot in a goodwill box to make room for only stuff he will wear.
pssssst….this photo was taken on monday 7/30, not the 27th. but i was behind on my photo a days and this was a cool pic. it’s a sign that i know and love, and i call it the 8 mile stretch. it’s about an hour to my folks’ house from home and this sign represents the last leg of the drive. a sign i grew up passing so many times. i guess i’ve always liked knowing what to expect, and with this sign, i know that my parent’s house, the house i grew up in, is near, and that’s a darn good feeling.

but today’s journey was not for a parental visit. the boys and i had to drive there to pick up cricut cartridges. yes, lame, i know. but i needed them for a project and she had them all. hey, we ended up getting starbucks breakfast sandwiches and banana bread out of it. sooooo…..yum!

saturday | july 28:

yesterday when we were cleaning gibson’s room, he made a big decision. he asked me to take all his legos out of his room and give them to marshall. WHAT? WHOA? are you sure? he was very sure. and i was happy and sad at the same time.

it’s sortof a perfect time.
gibson is about to be 11. he’s been building and creating with legos since he was 4. he’s had his time. marshall has been increasingly interested in gibson’s legos as well. for gibson to hand them down with no reservations makes my heart happy (and my wallet). these suckers are expensive! and when gibson’s collection consists of two HUGE bins + two medium bins….there’s a lot of money invested here.


i got all the non-lego stuff out of the bins and helped clean up and organize marshall’s room this morning, leaving him with a medium-ish bin, 2 bases and a sheet (for easy clean-up). just enough for him to enjoy. oh, and i walked in on gibson, in marshall’s room, building legos, by himself later that day. LOL!


dinner plans with my girl tawnya, and her bff from san diego. yummy salad, thin crust pizza and greek fries made for a yummy night. strawberry margaritas made for an even yummier evening as we watched the sun set over the river.


for the #photoadayjuly cup, i had to show off my new tumbler from target.


sunday | july 29:

could be called the laziest day of my existence. i stayed in my room all day, binging on junk food and watching the olympics. waiting for gymnastics but being stuck with mostly swimming.


by the end of the night, when the boys should have been winding down, they were jumping and wrestling all over the bed. boys will be boys.

so there it is. 2 weeks of our life. in photos + words. i do kinda love this process of talking about the most important pics from the week.

hope you’re capturing something good!


flashback friday: things my kids won’t experience like i did

haha times have changed


times have changed, we all know that.
the pendulum has swung so far left that we can’t see the destruction it’s done to our kids.
i’ve been wondering lately, how these losses effect how my kids are growing up.
what are they missing out on?
what skills won’t they pick up because technology does it for them?
what does society say isn’t acceptable for kids anymore?

it’s a small list, but it’s enough to make me think twice about some things i let my kids do. i want them to experience things so they know. and knowing…is half the battle.

fairs and carnivals: we remember the delight. the colors. the excitement. but my eyes only see carnies and dirt and fried foods and mass amounts of people. are they missing out? on what? we used to roam the fairs alone until it was time to meet back up with the folks. i can’t even imagine doing that.

driving alone with a friend who just got their license: maybe this is for the better but i can remember the freedom and responsibility of this turning point among my friends and i. we didn’t abuse it, but the liberation was unmatched.

the order of songs on an album: i still know the track listing of foo fighters the color and the shape and the beastie boys license to ill. because we had to listen to the tape, (and then thankfully) the CD from front to back. these kids have EVERY. SINGLE. SONG. available to them and really don’t need to listen to the whole album. maybe they never will. it’s kinda sad to see that part of music making not getting the recognition it once had.

and on that note…

going to the record store: there is much to be said for having a list of music you want to buy and only having enough for a few CDs and flipping through the endless rows of new and old music and that feeling of ripping off that plastic and tape strip to pop that little disc into your car stereo. so much. when i close my eyes, i can still smell and feel it.

waiting until a show airs on tv to watch it: don’t get me wrong, DVRs make my life sooooo easy! but long gone are the days when shows were only on at certain times and if your parent’s took too long dilly-dallying at the grocery store and you missed the first 20 minutes of 90210, boy…you had to wait until the next day of school to find out what happened. you couldn’t just play it, you couldn’t look it up on youtube and you couldn’t call your friend…it was too late. 😉

sharing a room: i never shared a room with my siblings. but i always wanted to. i know, i’m weird and should have been grateful for the solitude. my brothers always shared a room and for their bond, i was always jealous. my kids are too far apart for it to make sense but in some ways, i wish they knew that nighttime chit-chat and bantering and that sense of comradery.

learning how to navigate social situations without a keyboard: my foot and my mouth were best buds when i was in school. many times i had girls wanting to “talk to me after school” because i said something stupid or someone took something i said in the wrong way. i learned how to swim around in that big sea and when it was over, it was over. it wasn’t on someone’s facebook wall or saved in a text. friends were real and you played with them.

what are some things your kids are missing out on because of the times we live in?


week 25 wrap up

7 more days have come and gone and i honestly am surprised i am still doing these updates.
i like the routine, i guess. knowing what to expect. something i can count on and control.
some days i feel like i don’t own my own life. like someone is always telling me what to do.
i don’t like that much. i’m a bit of a rebel and like to be the one who tells me what to do.
but i have to give in sometimes, and sometimes i make too much out of not a big deal.

sometimes i just need to relax and let life happen. i’m working on that. like this week, we have 2 evening functions that will take me away from the kids after i’ve been at work all day. knowing that’s ahead of me sucks. i know i will have fun, it’s not like i’m having my teeth pulled. but i tend to be very selfish with my time lately. i need to be flexible. i need to laugh more and be more open to change.

here’s to making that happen this week!

sunday | june 16:

father’s day at the in-laws means sand, ribs and goofing off.





in my bag: wallet, flip-flops, undies, swim shorts, towel and an ambulance. the only things we need for a day at grama’s backyard beach.

day 17: in my bag (wallet, flip flops, towel, trunks, and trains for a father's day at grama and grampa's house)




can you believe this? it’s a little baby praying mantis we found taking a walk on the table. that’s a tea light he’s on. super small little guy.


monday | june 17:

matt forgot his mic when he went to film tonight. we had to bring it to him, thirty minutes away, which granted us the opportunity to get chik-fil-a. yay!



tuesday | june 18:

#photoadayjune is something you don’t know about me. i smell marshall when he gives me snuggle-hugs. he smells amazing.

june 18: something you don't know about me (i like to smell marshall when he gives snuggle-hugs. he smells so yummy.) #photoaday #photoadayjune #camera+

homemade raspberry lemonade smoothie. raspberry lemonade yogurt, fresh frozen raspberries, fresh frozen strawberries and apple juice.

yummy raspberry lemonade smoothie (rasp-lemonade yogurt, frozen raspberries, frozen strawberries, apple juice) who needs jamba juice?

wednesday | june 19:

found some extra cherry tomatoes that fell out of their container last week. hey, at least i’d have food and water if i was stranded somewhere.


mama, i’m coming home.


marshall has been obsessed with finding shapes since he watched team umi zoomi and the shape bandit. so i gave him a shape scavenger hunt to keep busy. at first, he wanted me to check the shapes off when he found them but then, wanted to do it himself.

june 19: imperfect (it means he is learning and I love watching it. how he holds his pencil and asks me to help him do it right. his check marks may have been huge but he is perfect right now.) #photoadayjune #phonto

an evening trip to run errands and the shadows were long. yes, i still make him hold my hand when we walk in the parking lot. this kid’s a runner.


and my favorite photo ever taken is (among so many others) this shot i took of two little bots, helping to hold the brooklyn bridge together. i snapped this when we visited ny in the summer of 2009. that’s manhattan back there.

june 20: favorite photo I have ever taken (two little bolts just doing their job to hold it all together. taken on the Brooklyn Bridge looking into Manhattan.) #photoadayjune #photoaday #ny #brooklynbridge #manhattan

so much grey is happening on my head that i need a fix. and red’s my color.


this is the next day but here’s how it came out. 🙂

loving my new color!

while i’m letting the red goodness soak into my locks, me and marsh read stories about a dog named biscuit.


thursday | june 21:

the directv app on my phone freaking ROCKS! i set craft wars from work because i forgo tto set it last week. two thumbs way up!


we got to see our favorite local band tonight! yay for the dead flowers sound check! we were actually filming this show so we had “all access” passes and i got to say, “i’m with the band.” what’s cool though, is that we’re friensd with the band, not just groupies…makes it much more awesome! if you’re interested…check out their music…it’s awesome bluesy, stonsey rock. and all sales of their new album ONE MORE MILE goes to support foster kids. yep…every penny!



getting gibson and marsh from the in-laws.


found this on facebook and it’s just so true. at least it is with my friends!


friday | june 22:

heading back down the hill after taking gibson to class. i’ve got to pick up wrapping paper for a gift for our friend’s 50th birthday party tonight. so excited….kids aren’t coming with us. i have no pics from the party but i do have great memories!

june 22: from a high angle #photoadayjune #phonto

saturday | june 23:

finally feeling motivated to work on the laptop bag. lots of layers and seam rips later…i completed it. it will be up on the blog later this week!

oh boy, I hope this works.

shouldn’t have had in-n-out, but we did.


found this while reading my better homes and gardens mag on my iPad. what caught my eye was how the table is painted. STRIPES! i finally know what i’m going to do with my little white table and bench!!


sunday | june 24:

getting the morning started with some block building.


today’s #lunchis sun dried tomato turkey, avocado, spring greens, cheddar and honey mustard on wheat + a side of strawberries. yum to the max!

#lunchis sun dried tomato turkey, avocado, spring greens, cheddar and honey mustard on wheat + strawberries. summer yummers.

um, apparently my son likes to draw with his feet.


we ended the night with yummy blackened chicken tacos. then gib, matt and i watched falling skies after marsh hit the hay.

looking back on this week sure made me thankful for the little things we get to do. most days we stay home, we don’t vacation or socialize too terribly much. i think of my life as normal and my goal is to never be too busy. i think we’ve succeeded in that and when we do go out, it’s quality stuff. loving what we have and looking forward to the rest of our time together as a family.

what do you see when you look back at your week?


week 22 wrap up

OHMIGOOODNESS i love the warm weather. mainly so the boys can play in the water and i can relax out in the back with them.

so here’s how we spent last week:

monday | may 28:

mostly shirtless boys.


a kid who found this empty corona box and used it all week to carry around his “supplies”.


tuesday | may 29:

STOP! hammock time! (lol, i crack myself up!)
STOP! ...... Hammock Time!

my april prints came! yeah!

April photos are here!!!! Love me some #persnicketyprints !!!!

i’m such a super hero nerd that i grabbed this tumbler at home goods with not one ounce of shame. POW!


marshall wouldn’t go in the pool unless i “dipped my toes in too.” it felt so good!


then he was cool with going it alone. in his undies of course.



wednesday | may 30:

#photoadayMAY for today is your personality. i took this picture the prior week for my style post and added text using the phonto app. it’s kinda perfect.

may 30: my personality

this old martha stewart recipe is still one of my faves. i can’t seem to find the recipe online but it’s super easy and fun for summer picnics.

personal watermelon (seedless)
english cucumber (seedless and peeled)
lime juice (3-4 tbsp)
salt and pepper to taste

chill in the fridge for a couple hours or overnight. or heck, just eat it right then and there. but if you let it sit overnight, all the juices co-mingle and soak into the melon and cuke. enjoy!


picking up strawberries for homemade jam. i used my last jar this week.


gibson’s 5th grade promotion ceremony was today. he’s officially a middle school dude!

school's...out...for summer!

thursday | may 31:

squashin’ berries. this is kinda my favorite part of the process.Making strawberry jam takes some effort but is soooo worth it!

and the result is a dozen pints of freezer jam.


gibson’s last day of school and of course, grade came home. never been concerned about this box down near the bottom, but today it has so much significance. and just to brag a bit, because he worked really hard, he pulled in the following grades which earned him his ps3 and tv back into his room and friend privileges:

math: A+
reading: B
science: B+
social studies: B
spelling: A
writing: B-


friday | june 1:

it’s a new month of photoaday pics from fatmumslim.

having to be at work at 7am, the road is usually pretty bare.
june 1: morning (love that most mornings my 5 minute commute doesn't include a lot of other cars. #photoadayjune #photoaday #phonto #camera+

my dear hubby posted this picture to my facebook timeline. we have a date people! time to request the day off…


marshall’s making faces at himself as we wait for gibson to finish up comedy class.


saturday | june 2:

marshall has been reading green eggs and ham on the iPad. it’s interactive, of course, with words you can touch and a read to me feature. he’s been reading it for a couple weeks now and today he picked up his actual book and ready it out loud…word for word! i was amazed. not that i should be, he’s almost 5 and he’s pretty smart. but i just hadn’t heard him read the whole entire thing! i usually ask him to say the last lines of sentences when we read. it’s just another sign that he’s ready for school!


my friend kristy at kristymakes started an instagram tag called #lunchis where we can post our daily lunches. this was my first post. my cold chicken pasta and the recipe is here.

#lunchis cold chicken pasta (rotini, chicken, avocado, tomatoes, parm, evoo, lemon juice, pepper and garlic salt

after lunch i hung out with marsh in the pool while gibson hung out at a friend’s house. i literally just dipped my toes in and it was perfect.


he likes to splash.


and tell me funny secrets.


#photoadayjune for today is empty. i had been thinking about it during the day but it wasn’t until the evening that i knew the picture i wanted to take. gibson ended up sleeping over at his buddy’s so his bed was empty for the night. 😦   but he had a blast with his friend who is moving across the country at the end of the summer. more sad faces.

june 2: empty (missing the eldest while he's at a buddy's house) #photoaday #photoadayjune #phonto

so i didn’t tell you that some of that smashed strawberry from the jam didn’t quite make it in the batch. so of course, saving it was the only option. and this my friends is my version of cold stone’s strawberry blonde. slow churned vanilla bean ice cream (1/2 the fat or something like that), a couple spoonfuls of smashed strawberries (no sugar added), and crumbled graham crackers. it’s literally heaven in a bowl. heaven i tell you.


and that was my week. full of fun and food. two things i need to live and smile.

hope you had an equally awesome week! 🙂