Saturday, December 14, 2013

Photo Fail with a random photo bomb......

A couple weeks ago Josh had band practice at the house.  So we made plans to go to the city and look at the giant Christmas Tree in Union Square and check out some of the stores and get some hot chocolate.

While in front on the Christmas Tree, Audrey wanted to get a picture.  Annie, however, wasn't too interested.



This little boy, however, was more than willing to get his photo taken.




Oh well.  We'll take what we can get.  

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Annual Pumpkin Patch

A couple weeks ago we did our annual visit to the pumpkin patch.  Like always, it was hot and not fall-like as one would appreciate for an October visit.  Annie was in a grumpy mood and just didn't seem to embrace the fun as the rest of us did.

We managed to get a few photos and have some fun.  Annie eventually cheered up when it was time to go on the tractor-train ride.  
They really enjoyed the teeter-totter.  Although neither one was really heavy enough to get much action out of it.
Audrey enjoyed feeding the goats

Cliche photo walking across the bridge.  Small miracle that I was able to do this with no photo-bombs

Tractor-Train ride thing

Her only smile of the day.  I thought she would be scared - but she absolutely LOVED this ride.

She refused to sit alone; so Aunt Becky saved the day and sat with her.  

My forever princess - I think she was secretly hoping these pumpkins would turn into Cinderella's coach

She was so enthralled by the tiny pumpkins.  

Monday, October 14, 2013

5th Anniversary Getaway

This past weekend Josh and I celebrated our 5th anniversary.  Our good friends from church watched the girls for 2 nights and we just spent 48 hours enjoying each other's company.  It was great to be able to talk without interruption.  To be able to eat dinner without having to coerce a young child to eat hers or have to cut up someone's meat.  It was fantastic to watch TV without concern of content.  We put our cell phones down and just focused on each other (it helped that we forgot phone chargers so were on minimal use mode until we got home).

The best part of the entire weekend, though, was seeing my daughters' faces for the first time on Sunday.  Audrey running through the worship center to jump into my arms.  Annie grabbing my neck and giving me the biggest hug a 2 y/o could muster.  Hearing their stories and adventures.

Many thanks to John and Heidi for watching the girls for us.  We really appreciate it.

We went to Santa Cruz.  I've lived in the bay area for 10 years and have never been to Santa Cruz.  Amusement parks hold little interest for me, and the best times to go to SC are when it takes 3 hours to get there due to the insane traffic.  So I've just never been.  Our anniversary was a perfect excuse to go.  It was Friday, so there was little traffic and few people.  We could just enjoy the scenery and each other without chaos.

We stayed at a quaint bed and breakfast within walking distance of the touristy spots, without being in the touristy spots.  And we had opportunities to check out the local areas too since we walked quite a bit.

I took a few pictures.  I love the ocean; it just captivates me and all my attention.

This particular photo is a rare event.  Me and Josh together - alone.  I'm not proud of this photo from a technical standpoint.  The focus is wacky, the camera was too low, etc.  But I love it because it's a photo of my husband and me on our anniversary.

To see more photos from our trip, visit my flickr page (

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Moon Rising

Having enjoyed my sunrise shoot so much the other day, and having discovered a local spot where the bay (and the hills in the peninsula) I was aching to get out and watch the sunset.

I chose a day based on what my schedule allowed.  The sky wasn't anything special that day.  There was a grass fire a couple miles east of me, so the sky was hazy.  But there were no storm clouds (I missed one heck of a lighting storm the other night ....) or anything spectacular.  Living in a valley, however, I've not been able to watch sunsets regularly like I used to growing up.  When I was in college I had a dorm room on the top floor of the tallest building on the hill looking west.  It was an ideal sunset watching location.  And I LOVED it.  But the last 8 years or so have really been lacking in sunset availability.  So any sunset is awesome in my book.

At any rate, I hopped in my car and drove to "my new spot."  Got there in plenty of time.  Due to high winds on this hill, I did not take a tripod.  My tripod isn't very sturdy to begin with, let alone with high winds.

I was waiting for the sun to do it's thing.  Got a couple "practice" shots in, set my exposure, got a feel for the location and waited.  I sat down on the bench, facing east, and saw this.  


The slight hazy/smokey sky with the sun reflecting off it was pretty in and of itself.  But the moon coming up just behind the clouds ... MONEY!  I was excited to get it; kinda wish I noticed it a minute earlier when it was only half up.  I've been aching for a decent moon photo for the better part of 6 months.  I like this one enough to share it.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Hike with the Girls

I took a detour on the drive home the other day and ended up driving past a local regional park with some hiking trails.  After I explained what the place was, Audrey was itching to go on a hike and check it out.

So Saturday afternoon, after we all took much needed naps, the girls and I went on a little hike.

We logged about 2 miles total.  But with small children, that's 2 very SLOW miles.  We stopped a lot and rested.  We took our time going up the hills.  We looked out on the valley below from the top of the hill.  We mooed at the cows at the bottom of the hill.

The girls each had a copy of the map and they followed along, finding each trail marker on the map as we passed them on the trail.  We got to the 5th trail marker when we decided to turn around.

It was windy.

The girls learned that cow poop is also called a cow pie.  They learned what they look like and know not to step in them.

I practiced patience with them and let them play and have fun and move at their pace.

They posed for pictures.

Audrey fell, got up, wiped off the dirt, and was ready to keep going.  (My girl's a rockstar when it comes to falling!)

It was an awesome outing and I hope to go again.

Got the map - we're ready to go!
The view from the top of Donlon Hill
Looking down at the valley below
Believe it or not .... the bay is visible from here.
CHEESE!  (now can we go home mom?!)

Monday, August 5, 2013

Discovery Channel in our Front Yard

We have a bird's nest on our windchimes.  We noticed it a couple months ago.  Sometime this week two of the three eggs hatched.

It has been a fun opportunity to teach the girls about birds and nature and family and caring for babies.  Every time we hear the babies start cheeping the girls run to the front window to watch them and see what they do.  It's been neat for Josh and me also to see something from the Discovery channel happening in our front porch.

I've had a really hard time getting photos of this because the nest is in a really secure spot.  We don't have a ladder to really see up in the nest, and we don't want to disturb the occupants to much so we're trying to keep our distance.  I'm relegated to taking photos with my telephoto lens from the window standing up on the couch or coffee table (all the while not exacerbating my knee injury).  If do believe I can get some better photos if I can get some improved lighting outside.  I might take some lamps out there and try to move the light source so the nest isn't backlit as much.

At any rate ... here are some neat photos of the baby birds and some of their mama.  (We think we've seen the dad too.)

The best photo we could get of the inside of the nest (when mama bird is gone).  You can't see the two birds that are sleeping, but you can see the remaining egg.
Baby birds sleeping
What I thought was poor focus turned out to be crazy looking eyebrow things.  Reminds me of my Grampa Bob
More sleeping birdies
Hungry baby ... Mama looks like she's keeping an eye out on something
Still hungry birds - I think mama might be tending to the remaining egg

VBS Sunday

A couple weeks ago our church participated in the tradition of Vacation Bible School (VBS).  This was Audrey's first year to attend.  She was super excited to be a part of this.  I think she felt like a big kid and kind of felt like she was going to school.

Kymberly was an awesome big sister and took her to and from VBS every day and took care of her in the afternoons.  She was a HUGE help to us and made it possible for Audrey to attend without Josh or me having to miss any work.  Because I work from home on Fridays I was able to go see the closing rally and hear them sing all their songs and watch their photo slideshow.  It was great to see ... I got to see Kymberly in her element of being a youth leader and see Audrey interact with the preschool kids and play and have fun singing songs and dancing.

Sunday morning all the kids who attended VBS showed the congregation what they learned.  Audrey was a bit shy to be up on stage; she watched her friend Hannah the whole time to know what to do.  Annie was allowed to go up on stage and sing with the big kids.  Annie knows all the songs and dances too.  

I hear from the youth (middle school and high school students) how much VBS meant to them as little kids; it makes me really happy that Audrey gets to attend and be a part of such an outstanding program that is held in such high regard.  

Here are some photos from VBS Sunday.

Audrey waving while she and the kids wait for church to start.  (It's the 9 am service; I think they'd rather be sleeping)
Tina telling the congregation about VBS
"Gonna say yeah yeah yeah yeah yes to vuh uvh vuh vuh VBS"
"Yes to the best thing, JESUS IS LORD!"
Everybody get down let me hear you say
(whispered) Y E S to VBS
Dios Nos Ama
God Loves You!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Father's Day

I like to do special things for Josh for Father's Day.  He's very sentimental and loves being a dad and really cherishes the Daddy things.

This year I followed followed the trend and did some photos of the girls, specifically with a D-A-D set of photos in there.   It's not easy to get 3 people to look at the camera and smile all at the same time.  Let alone do it with a 2 year old in there who is very stubborn.  And then add to that a teenager who just wants to go hang out with her friends.  But they cooperated long enough to get some cute shots. 

I framed an individual shot of each girl, plus 2 group shots, plus a collage frame with the D-A-D photos.








Tuesday, June 11, 2013

June Update

It's been a bit since I've posted a personal update on the family and what's going on with us.

The girls are getting old enough to do a lot more out of the house activities.  Parks, hiking, bike rides, etc.

We've made a couple trips to a local street fair called First Wednesday (takes place on the First Wednesday of the month in the summer). Here the girls enjoy playing the games, dancing to the church band, and just hanging out and enjoying the people watching.

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We've spent time outside riding our bikes, really enjoying that we live on a quiet cul-de-sac.

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We watched Josh's band, Northern Static, play at a local wine bar patio (outside = family friendly).

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We all played together at our church's Open Mic Night (but no photos since we were all performing....).

It's been an exciting few months in our house and will continue to be exciting and fun and busy throughout the summer.