Connor's imagination is alive and constantly going and I love it. He is literally telling a story constantly throughout the day. Looking at this picture, you are probably thinking to yourself that Connor is holding a lego. While that is true, he is actually holding the remote to a tv. And the tv? Why, it is a puzzle (with all the pieces removed) of course!

^^ The tv and remote

The best part was when Connor crawled under the table next to his "tv" and acted like he was in the tv. He was telling a whole story. Of course it didn't make sense (to me, at least), but it was so stinking adorable. And he used a high pitched voice to do this.

Things like this happen all the time. I love it. I love hearing about Connor saving people from lions or rescuing someone from a fire. He always has to be the good guy! I love watching him have lego people find gold or a police chase happen in the middle of my living room. Sometimes I think I enjoy this kind of thing so much, that I really am a kid at heart! The only thing is, I really do wish the cups of coffee and ice cream cones Connor makes for me were real. That would be nice. 

And I just realized I blogged about Connor and his imagination almost a year ago to the day. So, feel free to read what I wrote then.

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Almond Blossom Festival

Did you know that all of the almonds sold in the US are from the central valley of California? And 70%  worldwide. Crazy, right?! When the almond trees bloom in February/March, the central valley is a beautiful place to live. The trees look majestic. And, shockingly enough, we also have an almond blossom festival at the same time.

Besides blowing copious amounts of money in no time at all, we had a good time. Well, and it was a bummer that Isla was a bit too small to ride on any of the rides by herself. But Connor sure enjoyed himself! And the rides Isla got to go on with us, she enjoyed as well.

^^ The first time we ever gave Connor cotton candy, he refused to eat it, so we shoved it in his mouth and he has loved it since. We tried the same with Isla and she would just spit it out. Oh well. 

The carnie running the ferris wheel told me he would stop at any time if Isla got scared. Girlfriend wasn't scared at all. She was frozen stiff looking around, but when I asked her if she was having fun, she said "yes". Then the ferris wheel stopped to change passengers and Isla started getting daring. She was trying to take the seat belt off and to stand up. Awesome.

^^ Look at that face! 

It was a really fun day couple hours. Connor's favorite thing was the obstacle courses and fun houses. And I would say Isla's favorite thing was definitely the ferris wheel. Hopefully next year Isla will be big enough to go on the rides by herself and Ian and I can sit out on all those rides that go around (and around and around) in circles!

In case you want to see pictures from the Almond Blossom Festival last year, here you go

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Documenting Life

I am really great at taking pictures and making sure to write updates about the kids on my blog. But, I am not so great about making sure to preserve those memories in ways my kids could look back on...because lets be honest, who knows if blogspot will even be around when my kids are older?!

I've made photo books for certain years before (ok, really only two years), but haven't done it consistently. And I made photo books documenting the first month of each kid's life, but that's it. After I started the series from the mouth of Connor, I knew that I wanted to find a way to more permanently (and personally) document those things. Enter this cute photo book.

This book is from Paper Coterie (who's website currently doesn't seem to be working and I am hoping that doesn't mean they are no longer around). It was a template and all I had to do was upload some pictures of Connor. It is full of tons of space to write down all the adorable things Connor says.

I love that it is something that Connor will have that actually is written down. So much these days is typed out. It really just adds a personal touch that I like.

Though I am sure Connor's wife will get more of a kick out of the crazy things he said as a kid than he will (I'm just generalizing how Ian and I are) I still like that they are documented in a fun and easy way.

I really want to get better at preserving memories for my kids. I loved going through my baby album when I was younger. I loved looking at the pictures and reading what my mom wrote. My mom then made albums for us when we were in school too. I want my kids to have the same memories documented for them too...and not just on a website somewhere.

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A Small Walk Down Memory Lane

I was cleaning off my old computer and came across some (well, a lot of) old photos. It's funny how photos can bring up so many memories you hadn't thought of in a while and can almost transport you right back to that moment. It's like I can feel like I am there again, but yet it is just out of my grasp. Anyway, before I get too reflective on you, enjoy these pictures from when Connor was a wee little man and we lived in a different place {Scotland}. 

^^ I always find it funny how as time goes on, I look back at photos I wasn't quite so fond of and end up enjoying them. I had maternity pics taken when I was pregnant with Connor. I literally had hundreds to choose from. This one was never even on my radar, but when I saw it just the other day, I liked it. I liked the simplicity, the black and white, the fact that there is a picture in the world of me where I look halfway decent not smiling. 

^^ This is my favorite picture of Ian. I snapped it (with my iphone old school now) right after Connor was born. It was the first picture we shared to our family and friends of Connor. I had such a long and trying labor with Connor and was just done. Ian actually got in most of those newborn cuddles with Connor because I was busy throwing up. Good times

^^ Me and a wee little Connor. I love the snow. Even when I lived in it, I loved it. Sure it can be a pain...especially when it becomes a slushy mess. But, I still love it. And, living in Scotland, we took Connor out as a baby, no matter the weather. This picture was taken on the street we lived on in Aberdeen. It was such a beautiful street.

^^ And here is one last picture. This was taken about a month before we moved back to California. I love all our smiling faces. 

It almost feels like it has been so long since we have lived in Scotland, that it is as if it didn't happen. Yet, I was sitting in church yesterday thinking about how, in Edinburgh, we used to go get bagels after church with our friends Richi & Naseem. And I was immediately transported there. I could picture everything as if it was happening right then, but it was just out of my grasp...

I am so thankful for pictures. I take a lot, but so often, looking back, I wish I took more. Pictures can just take me right back to a moment and I like that. I like remembering all we have done. 

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 Connor: He has become obsessed with bandaids lately and needs one for every single (perceived) injury he receives, including his lip "hurting". It's pretty entertaining watching him stare at himself in the mirror and spend so much time figuring out placement of one little bandaid. 

Isla: One of my favorite things is to watch my kids get eye level with something and play. Nothing else in the world matters at that point except their toy. Lately, Isla has become quite fond of this little car and the "dogs" (Donald Duck and Pluto) that go with it. 

" A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2014."

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Fashion on the Fifteenth

My friend Anna over at Two Cent Sparrow is starting a fashion link up on the fifteenth of each month. So I'm like six days late...oops...of course that just proves, you are never too late to join in on the fun!  Anyway, Anna is wanting to showcase real style, not the people who have way too much time and money on their hands style. So, if you are a real person and you wear clothes, you should totally join in.

This is my first attempt at denim on denim. I may have sported it back in the '80's, but I don't remember. The whole denim on denim trend has always scared me. I was super excited to buy my first chambray shirt last year and love it, but up until this point have only worn it with colored jeans or shorts. I decided to branch out. And just in case it was too much, I threw a green cami into the mix!

Shirt: Old Navy
Cami: Nordstrom Rack (from a million years ago)
Necklace: from a street vendor in San Francisco
Jeans: Gap
Boots: Old Navy

Even though it is totally blurry, I can't help but put in this picture too. Isla came and grabbed my hand and SMILED FOR THE CAMERA. Here's to hoping she does this more often instead of running from the camera.

I totally think you should join in on the fun next month. I am giving you a three week notice, so be prepared. And I promise to be a little more punctual next month...maybe like by the 17th or 18th.

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little moments not to be forgotten

teeth brushing apparently is exciting // swinging // bubble beard // bubble love for Isla too // well that never happens...but I'll take it // my little ipad thief // my little monster // miss sassy pants

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Freshening Up the Kitchen

When we moved into our house 2.5 years ago, the kitchen had already been updated at some point. Sure it wasn't exactly as I would like it, but it didn't need money poured into it (nor did we have that money). After living with it for a while, I started getting an itch to update it a bit.

The push for updates came after we decided we really need to replace our broken microwave. It's been broken for the past year and a half and we really haven't missed it. When we first started out, we were just going to get rid of the microwave in favor of a hood, but have been talked out of that one and will be replacing it with another microwave. And since we have to get a new microwave, we may as well replace the other appliances as well, right?!

I thought it would be nice to remember what we started with before we changed up our kitchen. And I am glad I took the pictures when I did. While I was gone for two nights last week, Ian painted half the kitchen as a surprise. I was impressed given that I had just mentioned to him the week prior my thought of painting the kitchen the same gray we painted the rest of the main part of the house a year (actually, close to two) ago.

I must also warn you, I have discovered I am no good at taking pictures of kitchens. Also, my kitchen looks so much more cluttered in pictures! I have actually already de-cluttered it a little just because of these pictures!

 ^^ Looking at the kitchen from the playroom. The refrigerator is hiding the stove/oven and on the right, by the sink, is the door that leads to the dining room and the rest of the house. 

^^ Our kitchen really lacks storage space and this has become the catchall. Since taking these pictures, I found a better solution for this area and now have old school lockers sitting here as storage. 

^^ A closeup of the cabinet hardware. Not bad, just not my style. 

^^ The other side of the kitchen. You can see the door to the dining room at the far left of the picture and the opening to the playroom on the right.

^^ I made this menu board over a year ago and have yet to make the "menu" stickers for the top...and Connor has pealed off the Saturday and Sunday stickers from the bottom. But I don't mind. I don't need to cook on the weekend anyway ;)

Here is a list of the updates I would like to do to the kitchen:

  • paint kitchen to match the rest of the house
  • paint the walkway into the playroom (currently the trim is brown)
  • hang old window in said walkway 
  • find a better storage solution for next to the refrigerator 
  • new hardware for cabinets and drawers
  • convert oven to gas (this is Ian's request)
  • new appliances - microwave, oven and dishwasher
And I am thinking about ripping out the small cabinets above the sink that really only house the lighting components for the can light above the sink and replace it with a pretty hanging light. 

If money were no object (well, I would rip out and reconfigure the whole kitchen), I would also replace the flooring, but I have to stop somewhere, right?!

Hopefully all this will be complete in the next couple months. After a couple things are done, I will give a bit of a progress update. 

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Siblings, Sunglasses & Sunday Best

I'm pretty sure it is my lot in life to be the mom that lets other moms out there know it is okay if their kids beat up on each other. The internet is full of posts by moms swearing their kids are best friends and love each other SO MUCH. Well, my kids may love each other, but they sure as heck beat each other up almost every waking moment. And now that Isla can fight, my days are never boring. Do you see that knee in Connor's back, trying to push him down the slide?!

I always wanted Connor to wear sunglasses and he has never really been interested. He would leave them on long enough to snap a picture, but that was it. Not any longer. I put some on him today and he was in love. As long as he saw sun, he needed his sunglasses. And you bet I love it because little kids in sunglasses are just so stinking cute. 

Sunday Best

Isla pretty much refuses to stand still for a picture. But that's ok. I am up for a challenge. Even though she totally ruined these tights pretty much as soon as her feet hit the floor in this outfit, it is okay. She looked cute. I am already dreaming of the cute rompers and sun dresses she will be sporting this summer...and to think I was totally intimidated of dressing a girl when I had her! 

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