Summer Trips: Pittsburgh Zoo


Before we had gotten married, Justin and I took a trip to the zoo, so it was pleasantly nostalgic to take our kids there. We usually take a big vacation in the spring or summer with my in-laws, but this year we decided to give ourselves a break (vaycays with kids are hard work!) and just do little day trips on the weekends.


It was completely crowded and a little hectic, but the girls enjoyed themselves so much! I loved seeing the wonder and curiosity in their eyes! I can’t wait for the rest of the adventures we will be taking over the summer.




About a year ago, I suffered through a pretty intense trauma that scarred both me and my entire family. Part of me can’t believe that I haven’t composed a post since Easter, and the other part of me sees that I stepped out of the spotlight for awhile to take care of myself during the anniversary of when I received this wound.

The good news is, I successfully made it through the flashbacks, the memories, and every thing else the flooded over me last month. I am also happy to announce that I launched my photography business and put together a portfolio of family portraits.

I wanted to give you guys a sneak peak of what my work will look like from here on out.

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and because my own children hate posing for me, I have enlisted the help of Matt Seal Jr. A professional whom I have had a photography crush on for a couple years. I am excited to have some one else be behind the camera, and to finally update our family portraits to include Cora.

That’s the update I have for you, and you can expect more posts from me this month now that i am feeling well and consoled again.

Holy Week


As Catholics, Holy Week is a very important, reflective time for us. Of course, Easter preparations are underway, and we even had an early egg hunt. However,  we try not to let the joy of Easter come prematurely. I know, that last sentence totally hammers home the Catholic guilt and our infatuation with suffering, right? Well the truth is, without Good Friday, the day we fast and reverently remember Jesus’ crucifixion, there would be no Easter Sunday; furthermore, there would be no Catholicism.

This is why we aren’t afraid to hang crucifixes in our churches. it is the crux of our faith. Had Easter never came, and Jesus never raised from the dead, then there would be no Catholicism either. After all, His rising is what solidifies his victory over death and evil. But the crucifixion can’t be so easily dismissed.

This week has brought on a lot of struggles. I have had a double ear infection for the past two weeks, been trying to pave the way for a potential photography business, and I’ve had 2 energetic children begging me to go outside. It has been a huge temptation to be irritable, throw pity parties, and give up on taking care of others. I’m not saying I never gave into this temptation, if I did my husband would surely rat me out, but when I DO fall, I try to make an extra effort to re-attune myself to the needs of my family and friends.

So, I will continue to be reflective and some what solemn for the rest of the week, as I navigate my daily chores and prepare for the upcoming holiday. I hope you all have a safe and happy Easter!



Even though the past few days have been dreary (gearing up for April showers, and all that…) We are still trying to make it outside during the small intercessions of sunshine. This winter was tough for numerous reasons, so I am pleased and relieved to see Spring on the horizon.


We are tying to hit the potty training a little harder with Sophie so she will be totally comfortable to use the bathroom at school this fall. She will be 3 at the end of May and I can hardly believe that she is this walking, talking little person with her own ideas about the world.


I am also eager to see Cora begin walking. She has such an adventurous spirit, that I am surprised she isn’t already walking. She can take a few steps at a time, but she knows crawling is more efficient at this point, and chooses to do that most of the time.

I’m hoping more time outside and spent with other kids will both help them to overcome these developmental milestones.

I’m Back!


My last post was on self-care which is ironic because we slowly slipped into a week of unhealthiness. The kids got sick with various ailments, one of which led Cora and I to urgent care on Sunday morning, and we definitely indulged in some early Easter treats and sloth. I don’t think the latter did our immune systems any favors, so now that we are on the mend I am recommitted to the health and over all wellness of my family.

The good news is, our weather is warming up which means more running around outside with the girls and going for strolls before nap time. It no coincidence  that my health thrives when the weather warms up. Not only am I more motivated to maintain my healthy habits, but my kids encourage me to because they want to be outside and I enjoy the sunshine as well.

In other news, I have decided to focus more on my photography. The picture above was taken by a professional in a studio, and it was a very stressful and embarrassing session. My mother-in-law and husband both agreed I could get similar results with my own skills, and the kids might behave better in the home environment. I have been looking for an excuse to buy more gear and learn programs like photoshop and lightroom, and I think I have found my chance. I hope to be doing portraits professionally by the summer. I’ll keep you updated on the blog, especially because I think I will be using this blog’s namesake as branding for my potential business.

Exciting opportunities lie ahead, and I hope you all will join me for the ride!

Fall Time


Fall is in full swing, here in the Ohio Valley. Being the week of Halloween, there have been many fun activities that are fall themed. It’s part of the reason I was M.I.A last week, as far as updating the blog went… We went trick-or-treating at the mall, attended a fall festival at the university for the families of staff members, and we baked pumpkin spice cookies.


Sophie has been increasingly affectionate toward me lately, which is nice since she is either being her introverted self, or she awaits daddy’s arrival from work to unleash her softer side. Perhaps it is the cool, fall cuddle weather? Either way, I’m not complaining.


Growing up in California, I never got to experience fall. The seasons hardly change, few trees even lost their leaves, and palm trees of course, are perpetually the same. Fall still seems new and exciting to me despite having lived here for almost a decade now. Fall reminds me of the season in which I met J, and our romance blossomed.


I love being able to share this gorgeous season with our children. There is so much excitement as we head into the holiday season!

What Happened When I Tried To Take a Portrait of My Kids


The above picture is pretty explanatory of what occurred when I attempted to take a nice photo of my girls in their coordinating outfits from my mom. Would it have been a nice surprise to send my mom a print of the girls in their matching outfits she bought them? Of course! It taking a picture of 2 kids 2 and under an impossible task? Of course!

I mean, what was I thinking? I have a camera shy 2 year old, and a baby that just learned to crawl and has a sense of adventure. I mean, you can clearly see, I didn’t even have time to adjust the settings on my camera. The pictures are dark, out of focus, and just generally horrible. In my defense, it is hard to line up all the settings when you have escape artist children who would literally do ANYTHING else besides sit for a picture for you.


Daddy tried to help — BUT WHOA, HEY… Didn’t you know Dad is a celebrity around here? His adoring fans just couldn’t stop throwing themselves at him.

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So anyway, my attempt for a cute picture  utterly failed. My one consolation is that most children of photographers ironically hate being photographed. Have a great weekend everyone, and make sure to get some cute pictures of your kids!



House Update: Dining Room

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If you follow me on Instagram, then you got to see a sneak peak of this gorgeous table! I am so excited to share the details of this piece with you all now that it is sitting pretty in our dining room! My in-laws are really the ones who helped me build the farmhouse table of my dreams, and when it came yesterday I was thrilled. White on the bottom, Ohio country pine on the top. I can’t wait to pair it with some cool industrial chairs to match the rustic/steel look we have going throughout the rest of the house right now!



I’ve also [shamelessly] been pulling out my fall decorations…


Other than our chic chairs [which will be ordered next month], the dining room is finished! I am also considering some type of organic plant life to bring some green into the space, but I think the dining room looks fantastic regardless. It was so nice to finally eat a family meal together, at the table! Even if that meal was Taco Bell….  All in all, I feel so blessed to have in-laws who not only help us care for the girls, but who want to see our little dreams come true in our first home. I was happy to share a meal with them at our new table for the first time. It was my Mother -in-Law’s friend who built the table for us, so I got to have a say in every detail. It is such a special piece of furniture both for the reasons that I got to design it, and that my in-laws were generous enough to orchestrate the entire process. It will be a symbol of love in fellowship in our home for a very long time.

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Close Enough to Kiss


Miss Cora has been teething a lot lately. At times she is inconsolable, but the one thing that has seemed to help is wearing her. Luckily for the both of us, I just got a brand new ring sling!


`The fabric rests on one shoulder and is threaded through a set of rings. It gives you the feel of a wrap, without all the hassle of wrapping if you need to keep putting baby down and up again. Since Cora has been so finicky, the ring sling has been great for holding her, then setting her in the swing, then holding her again, and putting her back in her exersaucer. The poor girl doesn’t know what she wants, except to have her gums stop hurting.


My in-laws took both girls for us this weekend though, so J and I could bond and catch up on some sleep. It was a restful weekend [for once] and I am so thankful we have so many people in our lives willing to help us.


An Evening At The Park

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Since J got me a FitBit for Christmas, I have been trying to be more conscious of my physical activity, sleep, and overall health. I try to get out of the house with the girls once a day, whether it be running errands, or going for a walk specifically for exercise, especially since warm sunny days are rare in the Ohio Valley.

The other day, we walked down to our local park during the golden hour, just before sunset, and I was able to snap a few pictures of Sophie. J has joined in the Pokemon Go craze, so he was happy to go. All in all, it was a nice and spontaneous outing. [For those who don’t know, it is tough to be spontaneous with littles… especially if it requires leaving the house.]

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Cora wanted to get out of the stroller, and in on the real action! I can’t wait until she is big enough to run after her older sister, as the desire is clearly there already.