carmel california


So much to share but this one caught my eye as I started to off load my memory cards.

Paige Johnson. Your photos always make me melt. Thank you for this!


noah is three


This birthday is right around the corner and unfortunately I will be out of town so I can’t eat donuts with my sweet Godson on his birthday morning, but you better believe I’ll be thinking of him as he makes his wish and blows those candles out.


Love you Noah Bear!

‘Aunt Bal’

christmas program 2014 + cade



4th grade…

You wore the “itchy” sweater because you couldn’t deny the smile on my face when you put it on “just to see how it feels.”

Too big (I have a habit of buying everything a size too big to get more wear out of it. Probably silly because it’s worn out by the time it fits.) but I just love it. And you!!

You sang because you said you could hear Avery singing along (the baby was louder than the entire 4th grade class, I swear to you) and it made you happy to see him.

You are the best big brother ever. Always asking how his night was, always willing to help … an all around good boy. I am thankful and proud of you!

I was hoping to catch a glimpse of the pretty girl that “all of your friends like but you most certainly do NOT,” but it was so crazy after the show that I didn’t get a chance.

Checked you and your sister out of school early so we could Christmas shop and eat ice cream (your reward for getting a 5 from Mrs. Berg – not an easy task!).

Went to Evan’s Plunge because Rylan and I wanted to take you all to a place we so fondly remember visiting as kids.

It. Has. Not. Changed. A. Bit.

Would it kill them to freshen it up a bit?:)

Pizza for dinner afterwards at that great place in Hermosa. Why isn’t there one in Rapid? Sooooo good.

It was one of the best weekends that I can remember.

I think it just kicked off on the right foot – how could it not when I got to watch you sing and dance? I’ve got the video to prove it.

Love you so much little man.




sending our love with you



I know you aren’t on Facebook, but I know you look here.

Know that you are loved and will be missed greatly over the winter.

We all adore and love you and it was hard for me to say goodbye!

Thank  you for indulging me yesterday at the park.

This picture is mostly to make you laugh – look at Caeden! Such a sour puss yesterday! haha

But the one pictures of you and Avery are something special.

Will treasure them forever.

See you next week in California! I cannot wait!!!!



crate + baby


Cannot take the credit for this because I saw it somewhere else (Pinterest? Pottery Barn?) and they are a work in progress, BUT I wanted to share in case you wanted to make some in time for Christmas, too.

With four kids, Christmas morning will be crazy. They forget how to read and start ripping into each others’ presents, or tossing irrelevant (to them, at least) ones aside.


Thought maybe Santa could fill up their crates and we could all avoid the “is this mine?” fiasco this year (and … you know, drink coffee while watching the kids peacefully unwrap their toys … just like in the movies!).

Going to personalize them with their birthdays, a little holiday ditty, etc. but you get the idea for now.


Your local craft store will have these (I used a coupon for two and begrudingly paid full price for the other ones because I am too lazy to drive back into town the next day to do it all over again).

Get yourself a little can of Minwax stain. I had mine leftover from when we were trying to decide on a floor stain color, and I wish I had bought one a few shades darker, but they still turned out okay!

The stain smelled up the garage for a few days, so I left them out there until it was safe to bring them in.

(So plan ahead!)

Used ink on Avery’s and it was the wrong kind. Smudged.

Used a permanent ink on the other kids’ and they turned out better.

Trust me. Learn from me.


And this is my seven month old little cupcake/candy cane/sugar cookie with sprinkles on top.

Who will, I’m sure, love the boxes and wrapping paper more than anything else under the tree this year.