Childhood Unplugged

San clemente family photographer-9144 San clemente family photographer-9150 San clemente family photographer-9181 San clemente family photographer-9186 San clemente family photographer-9210 San clemente family photographer-9237 San clemente family photographer-9277 San clemente family photographer-9278 San clemente family photographer-9240San clemente family photographer-9217 San clemente family photographer-9284 San clemente family photographer-9306 San clemente family photographer-9353 San clemente family photographer-9343 San clemente family photographer-9364 San clemente family photographer-9372There’s much to be said about the light in the Pacific Northwest. But there’s even more to be said about an evening, with 6 kids, that went better than any script we could have wrote. None of the usual tantrums or whining or fights. Just kids playing late into the long summer night; complete with pizza and ice cream and all the things we could throw at them to keep them busy and contained. Kids being kids, forming friendships and bonds and memories with my dearest friend’s kids. It doesn’t get better. Long live summer. Also wishing said dearest friend the happiest of birthdays today. Happy Birthday, J. Love you. 

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San Clemente Family Photographer-4896 San Clemente Family Photographer-4903 San Clemente Family Photographer-4899 San Clemente Family Photographer-4909 San Clemente Family Photographer-4912 San Clemente Family Photographer-4916 I remember summers during childhood lasting what felt like an eternity; the summer vacations, annoying my sister, complaining about complete and udder boredom, laying out poolside, stalking summer crushes at the beach, and putting off whatever summer reading that was assigned, opting instead for the cliff note version in the week preceding the fall return to school.

Summer now seems like a blink of an eye, with school seemingly getting out later and starting earlier. I feel this newfound pressure to pull out the calendar to schedule adventures for the sole purpose of assuring at least a few get snuck in there and that the entire summer doesn’t pass without any of the quintessential memories only summer can deliver. And yet scheduling anything seems to steal the spontaneity that summer alone seems to promise. It’s a catch 22, isn’t it?

Throw in a scheduled move and, well, I’m feeling kinda robbed of this summer already. Screw that, throw in the speed of life these days and I’m feeling a bit robbed of life in general. Who’s with me? I hold no answers to the slowing of time but hoping that with this summer freedom we can schedule some time to be bored. And maybe an adventure, or two, that don’t break the bank because dammit, moving is a money suck.

Blowin' in the wind

“Do not ask your children to strive for extraordinary lives. Such striving may seem admirable, but it is a way of foolishness. Help them instead to find the wonder and the marvel of an ordinary life. Show them the joy of tasting tomatoes, apples, and pears. Show them how to cry when pets and people die. Show them the infinite pleasure in the touch of a hand. And make the ordinary come alive for them. The extraordinary will take care of itself.” -William Martin
Goodbye summer, hello fall.

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What summer looks like…

 Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass on a summer day listening to the murmur of water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is hardly a waste of time. ~John Lubbock
I’m so stoked to have been invited to participate in the “What ____ looks like” blog circle with some other photographers I know and have loved from afar. How it works is simple; we each link to someone else’s post until the circle is complete. If you’d like, you can check out their work by following the circle starting with the lovely Kelsey Gerhard (who I’ve had to opportunity to meet in the flesh, which rocks).

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Conquering Routine

Even though I have yet to be cleared to return to my “day job” as a RN, my life as a stay-at-home-mom still runs on a very routine Monday thru Friday schedule; mostly because it’s all on me as Willy works most of the day. I thought that being home so much would be freeing; that a schedule would not be needed and that the possibilities would be endless. I was right, to some extent. We’ve gotten to go on lots of little day adventures, which is something I didn’t always have the energy for having worked a grueling 12

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hour shift the day before. Also, the boys are older now; I mean, Van can walk. But come evening, when Willy is done with work, it’s back to the monotonous turn-on-a-cartoon-and-get-dinner-ready-routine. It’s been eating at me. No pun intended.

We have a sliver of a view out our window of the ocean and watching the sunset while Cat-in-the-Hat plays in the background has been torturous. So, I proposed that we make dinner a little bit earlier than usual (sometimes we don’t sit down to eat until almost 8pm) and get the heck out of the house.
And, we have.
And, it’s been great.
I’m trying to sell myself on the idea that you have not squeezed everything out of the day until you get into bed dirty, with sand in your hair and dirt on your toes.

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Long Live Summer

We’ve been spending more time than ever at the beach. Partly because we now live closer and partly because it’s the one place I can take them where we only have to walk a mere twenty feet from the car and I can give my back the break it asks for often, but rarely gets.
The boys love it too. Collecting rocks and throwing them into the water, using their dump truck to transfer sand into buckets, building forts with random pieces of bamboo and seaweed; it’s play at it’s best — imaginative, entertaining, and the kind of dirt-under-your-nails fun that makes you feel most alive.
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If I’m granted enough time and patience by the I-will-prevent-your-kids-from-driving-you-insane fairy, I pack a lunch and snack for the boys beforehand; it makes it so that we are one step closer to nap time (aka mama-needs-a-break time) when we get home.
Hoping that by the end of the summer they’ll be more into the water. Hell, I’ll even be happy if Van would let go of my hand by water’s edge.
Long live Summer (never mind the fact it’s not technically Summer. If it feels like Summer, it’s Summer. Right?). Not sure what we’ll do come Winter…

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A day with my sister

My sister just moved into a new home down in Dana Point with her fiance, so we went down to say hello the other weekend. Willy and I both left wanting to move there; it is such a beautiful area. We had a great time hanging out by the pool, enjoying what feels like an extended summer for those of us livin’ in the southern part of California. It was a bit touch and go in regards to Willy and I actually being able to enjoy ourselves with the kiddos around the pool (it’s a lot of work, no?) but once the boys found the cats, the hose, and some ice cream it was all good.
*Side note: Can I get a little fist pump or something for the perfectly placed hoses (no irony intended) and cats, as well as some nifty cropping and/or focusing. It wasn’t easy working with two naked ones… But, you know what they say, it ain’t summer until someone goes skinny dipping. Better them then us, I suppose.

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One night, as some friends and I walked out of our book club meeting, I said, “Lately I’ve been feeling very wistful. Childhood is speeding by so fast. It’s such a cliche, but it’s true.”
“I know exactly what you mean,” one friend answered. “Whenever I get annoyed by the mess stuck to our refrigerator door, or about having to keep a stroller in the hallway of my apartment, I remind myself that these are the good old days.”Gretchen Rubin (as seen here too)
Side note: Many congrats to Darby, you are the winner of the Little Sweet Pea

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Bits + Pieces, Arizona

We piggybacked out trip to Palm Springs with a drive out to Arizona to visit family. We welcomed a new member into the family and spent time soaking in that newborn smell. Though, truth-be-told, neither Willy or I miss those beginning days… or months, for that matter. What can we say? We like to sleep. In any event, I’m a first time Aunt. I’ll post some pics of her next week. She sure is a beaut.
Happy Friday!

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Last Days of Summer

Last week it was still in the triple digits here in Southern California. I had already turned the calender page and welcomed October into our lives with hopes of fall joining the pumpkin party. Summer had other ideas and I’m not one to complain about the sun wanting to hang out a little while longer. So I packed up the boys and headed to the beach, in October, to properly thank summer for lingering around. I had the radio on and the Rolling Stone’s “Miss You”, one of my favs, blared through the speakers. I turned it up. Hoop bobbed his head in the back and I dedicated the jam to summer, knowing fall would be gracing us with it’s presence soon enough. It was a perfect day at the beach. A week later and it has cooled down to a comfortable 80 degrees. With a visit to the pumpkin patch in the near future, we’ll have to replay our wee little video to remind us of the last days of summer spent with sand between our toes and white water crashing at our ankles. Dear Summer, thanks for lingering.

Last Days of Summer from The Stork & The Beanstalk on Vimeo.
You can check out my other videos here and here.

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