Family Fun

We’ve had a lot of fun this month but it sure did fly by. Everly is growing up so beautifully. I still can’t believe she’s 2! She’s so much fun and she’s so smart. We’ve been having a lot of fun spelling words this last month. She knows how to spell her name, mama, dada, nana, and papa, to name a few. I love the look on her face after she spells out something and I praise her for it. She gets this proud but shy little smile and it’s just the cutest. I painted her toe nails and fingernails for the first time a few days ago. She requested one of each color on her toes and made sure to tell me exactly where to put each of the colors. Throughout the rest of the day I would catch her occasionally stopping in her tracks while playing and looking down at her toe nails. She still loves playing with her makeup set I got her awhile back too. I’m looking forward to much more of these fun girly things with her as she gets older. Brother Bear is 5 months old! He’s already loving to be in a standing position, just like his sister at this age. He loves getting on all fours and likes rocking back and forth now and I have a feeling he’ll be crawling very soon! He loves laughing and smiling at his big sister. My favorite thing lately is watching them in the car together. Everly is in a forward facing car seat and his is rear facing so they’re in perfect line of sight of each other. Everly loves looking over and making facial expressions or sounds that make him giggle. Ollie loves scooting himself around the house in the Joovy walker. He gets to where he wants to go and when he sees or hears something happening around the house he’ll walk himself right over to check it out. We tried solid food with him a few times this month and he seemed to like it and get the hang of it. The last time I fed him solid food he leaned into the spoon to take a bite. It’s going to be fun to start introducing it more to him in the next couple weeks. Ollie loves books and gets really excited when we hand him one. He’s so observant and will stare at each page and pat his hand over the things that catch his eye. He loves his tummy time but doesn’t stay there for long. He’s still rolling over everywhere and his little happy squeaks and squeals make us smile. Every time we make eye contact with him he smiles. He’s just the happiest and sweetest boy. We had our first beach visit with him this month and he loved it! He dipped his hands right in the sand and had a taste of it, since everything lately he can get his hands on goes in his mouth. It was such a beautiful family day! If I were able to teleport to a special moment in time to re-live over years from now, that day would be it. It was one of those days that totally caught me off guard. I had a moment holding Oliver, watching Dan and Everly climb the dunes, when a overwhelming feeling of gratitude came over me and it moved me to tears. There’s no better feeling than the joy I felt in that moment. We visited the pumpkin patch today with my mom, dad, and grandpa. It was Ollie’s first time at Avila Valley Barn! We had fun feeding animals, watching Everly ride a pony, run through a hay maze, and pick wild flowers. Another special day full of memories made. Thank you Jesus for this beautiful life!

15 Years

We drove away from our wedding day promising to re-gather our friends and family for the milestones of our 5th, 15th, 25th and 50th anniversary years. Last weekend we gathered with our family and friends to celebrate our 15th anniversary! Our actual wedding anniversary was on March 11th but we decided to postpone our celebration because of covid restrictions. So since we celebrated on September 11th, it’s been 15 1/2 years exactly. It worked out perfect because not only did we get to have our celebration at our favorite wedding venue, Tiber Canyon Ranch, but we got to have Oliver join us too! I was 7 months pregnant back in March so getting to have him with us made it that much more special. We began our magical evening by walking out as a family to all of our guests. As we walked down the stairs hand in hand and approached all of the faces of the ones we love so dearly, my eyes began to well up with tears. I was overtaken by such an overwhelming feeling of gratitude as I held Oliver and looked over at Dan holding Everly. God has been so faithful and I’m in awe of how he has blessed us. We started with a vow renewal hosted by our dear friend and mentor, Rich Wilson. He also hosted our 5 year party 10 years ago. Having him there was so special to us. He and his wife Karen are so dear to our hearts. I loved getting to renew my vows and share my heart for Daniel. He truly is the man of my dreams and I love that my kids get to have him as their father. Hearing the words he wrote for me was so humbling. Men like Daniel are rare in this world and I’m just honored to live my life with him. At our 5th anniversary party we had a time capsule there for our family and friends to write us a note or leave us a treasure to open at our 15 year party. The time capsule was sealed back then by both our fathers and my grandfather with 3 different locks. And all three of them unlocked it with their individual keys on this night. It was amazing getting to open it 10 years later and see all the notes written, even from some who have since passed away; My grandma, my aunt, and Daniel’s grandparents. At home after the party, Dan and I enjoyed taking our time reading all of the words written to us years ago. The time capsule was filled up again on this night with notes from everyone that attended and we look forward to reading them in the next 10 years! The ceremony was followed by some special dances. Daniel and I shared a dance to a song that he wrote and recorded for me on the anniversary before our sweet Everly came into this world. She ran up and joined us during our dance and it was so precious. One of the lines in the song says, “planted that tree in the back of the yard and wait for those dreams while we watch it grow tall.” Daniel and I planted a plum tree in our backyard believing with all our hearts that we would have children one day, and when we had Everly our tree was in full bloom. Recently, we took both Everly and Oliver outside and harvested the plums together. We took all the plums inside and I got to make some plum jam to give to all of our guests on this night. Another special dance that took place was Daniel’s dance with Everly. Right after our dance ended the DJ said “Everly this one’s for you.” As soon as their song started playing Everly looked up at her Daddy, and with her eyes wide open, gasped, then reached out to him and he scooped her up in his arms. I’ve seen them dance together so many times at home but there was something so magical watching them dance under the beautifully lit oak trees to their special song. Daniel said at one point Everly looked around and softly said “woooww!” I’ll never forget the precious sight of them together that night. I’m so glad we have such beautiful photos and videos to look back on forever. After the dances we enjoyed a dinner together, then we got to surprise our parents with a special song. Both of our parents actually share the same wedding song by Paul Stookey called “There Is Love” (The Wedding Song). Daniel played it at my parents 40th anniversary vow renewal back in June this year. My dad has been asking Dan to record his own version of it for awhile now. So we were so excited to be able to surprise them with our own rendition of the song while they both shared a dance together. My parents have been such an inspiration to me. The love they share is so special and their marriage is such a beautiful example to us. At the end of the night, we sang happy birthday to a dear friend, enjoyed some cupcakes, and danced to close the night out. Daniel and I loved being surrounded by all our dear friends and family. This night truly felt like a little slice of heaven. Our hearts are so full of gratitude for the precious people God has placed in our lives. We’re looking forward to reading everyone’s notes to us in our time capsule at our 25th anniversary party! Special thanks to all of our vendors for making this night a dream come true for us:
Venue: Tiber Canyon Ranch, Officiant: Rich Wilson, DJ: Bob Stock, Portraits & Candids: Michael Kinney Photography, Photojournalism: Somewhere Studios Photography, Caterer: Tamara’s Catering