the lantern fest – with kids!

Untitled-2

band

Untitled-2

Untitled-1

 

We had a magical family experience recently at the Lantern Fest – I’m so excited to share it with you. I’ve been wanting to attend some type of lantern festival for most of my life. Floating lanterns have a history throughout Asia, as well as many other countries, and are used for purposes like religious worship, to make wishes, and of course, for fun. I can’t remember when my fascination with them began, but it was certainly pre-Tangled era. Speaking of Tangled, many children are familiar with this concept thanks to the film, and it happens to be a kid-friendly event. Children of all ages are welcome, but I was glad that Henry and Marie are at an age (almost five) where they could really participate. There were many fun activities for kids, to include: bouncy houses, face painting, live music and dancing, and of course ice cream and treats. We ALL had such an enjoyable and memorable time…click through for more, including the breathtaking finale!

Continue reading

strawberry season

Untitled-6

Untitled-7

Untitled-6

 

Tis the season for strawberries, and if you live in the country, strawberry picking! We’ve taken the kids almost every year to our local orchard – this year we managed it just in time, right before the heat wave. The picking window is always brief, which is part of what makes it so special. Henry and Marie were giddy to have a fresh patch to pick, frolicking and filling their baskets (a handful ended up in their bellies first). There’s nothing better than biting into a fresh juicy berry in the field, warmed from the sun. While it’s still not “officially” summer, we welcomed it with smiles and berry-stained hands.

Continue reading

little moments, big kids

bbedit

 

I’m trying to wrap my mind around the fact that my babies will be five years old soon. What feels like all of a sudden, they’re sleeping in “big kid beds”, telling me that they want to do it “by myself”, and wanting more independence. I know this is a good thing in the long term, but it’s so hard to swallow in the short. I’m somehow now the mother of two children. Not babies, not toddlers…CHILDREN. I’m holding onto four with all my might, with five approaching at warp speed.

The passing of time is never more evident than when you’re a parent, and yet simultaneously, so much more of a blur. The little moments (that are actually quite big) can easily get lost in the background of every day chaos. I’m doing my best to be more conscious of the bath time giggles, lazy mornings, and Sunday cuddles. We still have these moments, but they’ve evolved into “big kid” versions of them. No less special than before, but possibly…more treasured.

pajamas c/o burt’s bees baby, many thanks for being part of our journey all these years!

valentine’s day nostalgia

Untitled-5

 

Today I’m feeling nostalgic and thankful for these treasured moments captured in Paris two years ago. I’m so terrible about printing images, but my sweet friend and photographer Ashley Ludaescher sent these to me. While I still have yet to frame them (soon), I stare at them often. My heart is overflowing with love for my children – so much so that it hurts at times. It’s incredibly cheesy but true. Their unconditional love for each other, and for us, is overwhelming. At times I don’t even feel worthy of it. I hope everyone experiences a love as pure and true as this in their lifetime.

happy valentine’s day | joyeuse saint-valentin 

hello 2017

untitled-1

 

“Are you feeling a bit shaken, maybe stirred, maybe fearful and doubtful and completely, utterly, wildly terrified? Good. Keep going.”

Victoria Erickson

 

I have a new mantra for 2017. I read an article last week written by a man who can’t move anything but his face. He shares seven incredible life lessons, and the one that stood out to me most is: fear = fuel. Take what scares you most and turn it into positive energy, motivation. I’ll be honest – there is a lot scaring me, both at home, and in a broader sense, like the (broken) state of our country. Personally, I’m facing finding a more suitable home for my family, recovering financially after my husband was unemployed for five months last year, dealing with a recent diagnosis of adenomyosis (first time I’m disclosing those two facts publicly), deciding on an educational path for the kids, and strengthening my marriage after four years of survival mode with twins. These fears and concerns didn’t disappear at the stroke of midnight.

I’m not suggesting that I live in constant fear, but these issues have been a bit paralyzing recently. Instead of letting these fears continue to fester and frighten me, I’m facing them head on in 2017. Fear is incredibly powerful – I’m going to harness the energy and channel it, letting it propel me forward. My actions and decisions will be motivated by, but not made in, fear. I’m going to light a match (or two, or three) and set my fears on fire. So let the internal inferno begin, and hopefully the flames will light the way to a brighter future. I can already feel a difference – just changing my mindset has boosted my courage and lit a fire. Burn, baby, burn. Do you have fears you’d like to set ablaze, or a new mantra to share?