Thursday, January 30, 2014

Down the rabbit hole

I will often hop on Youtube and watch recent videos of musicians I subscribe to.  Today I went to one of my favorite artists channel Orla Gartland where she covered "Take Me To Church" by Hozier.  I had never heard of the song or the artist, but loved her rendition.  So down the rabbit hole I went in search of the original.  I came across many live videos but selected "Cherry Wine".  I am now hooked on his hauntingly beautiful voice, a mix between John Paul White of The Civil Wars, Jeff Buckley, and a certain je ne sais quoi, I've yet to put my finger on.   I'll let you be the judge, but please leave a comment below if you know what that third quality is.

"Sweet and right and merciful
  I'm all but washed
  In the tide of her breathing." 

I found the video for Hozier's Take Me To Church to be a bit heavy, which is fine, because I love Orla's version anyway.  Hope you enjoy.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Home is wherever I'm with you

If you were to hop on Pinterest and look up Military family photos you'll get all kinds of results; however I've yet to find a photo that I feel would best represent my family.  How do you portray a not so classic love story? You meet your spouse from another state, you get married, you move, you have a baby, you move…. so on and so forth.  I wanted something unique that would show how far we traveled to find one another, and the places we traveled that would richen our lives.  

I was born in Oregon, my husband from Kentucky, and our daughter was born in Washington.  We have plans to expand our family in the next year or so, and it's strange to know that the next child will be born in Alaska.  So I put together a Pin that I hope to fulfill my needs as well as the needs of many other traveling/military families.  

You can find shirts from your own states here:

Sunday, January 26, 2014


Cecilia is always asking to do a project; one of her favorites is painting.  I can't wait for spring to arrive so she can paint outside again.  I love her colorful spirit, and gentle ways.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

The Day Disney Came To Town

Disney Jr. Live recently visited the Moda Center here in Portland for their Pirate and Princess Adventure.  When I first looked into getting tickets they were extremely over priced for nosebleed seats, so I nixed the idea of going.  I subscribe to a parenting website called Red Tricycle  and they send me daily emails on all local events for families, parks to visit, and sorts of fun mommy info.  Even if your not from the Portland area it is still a great site; I suggest you check it out.  The day the show was in town I received my daily Red Tricycle email and noticed they were advertising tickets, so I followed the link to see what was available and if the prices had changed.  I did a general search and VOILA!  Two tickets on the floor, 4th row, seats 2-3.  I could not believe my luck!  I snagged those suckers so fast and for half the price I was quoted when the tickets first went on sale.

This may seem silly, but I dedicate this photo to Kristy (a mom I nannied for).  Thank you for your shinning example, and showing me how to be the mom I always wanted to be.  You are my greatest influence.

I asked Cecilia what she wanted to be and she said a princess, so I went with pirate of course.  
I have a terribly archaic phone and it does not take good photos, but these are the two I took while at the show.  As much as I wish I had more photos, I got to fully enjoy the wonder on my child's face.  She enjoyed Sofia but nothing prepared her for Jake and the Neverland Pirates.  For those of you who know Cecilia, you know that she LOVES Peter Pan (just like her cousin Cash),  so when she saw Captain Hook and Mr. Smee she was absolutely giddy.  There was a part in the show where Jake and his pirate crew need your help calling Tinker Bell.  The audience claps their hands and she appears on a giant screen at the back of the stage.  Tink then gets in a lantern to shine a bright light that will call Peter Pan.  Can I just say, for lack of a better expression, Cecilia just about peed her pants.  When Peter Pan appeared flying across the stage her jaw dropped.  It was as if her dreams were coming to life.  She turned to me with big eyes and said "Mommy it's Peter Pan"!  She looked like she was on the verge of tears….. Happy tears.  
At the end of the skit a volcano erupts gold doubloons that float down from the ceiling.  She stood underneath them as the fell with her arms stretched out above her head, as if it were snow.  It was the sweetest thing ever. 

Over all I'd say we had a great time.  I would definitely do this again with her, and would recommend it to any parent whose child enjoys Sofia the first, Jake and the Neverland Pirates/ Peter Pan.  
What ever you do, I would just encourage you to make magical memories with your kiddos.  They'll be grown before you know it.


Peanut butter is practically the only form of protein my daughter will consume.  I'm glad to see she likes it so much.

Sunday, January 12, 2014


A portrait a week

Most little ones have a lovey, or a blanket they can't sleep without.  My daughter's lovey is named Koda.  Yes there are 3 in the picture, and yes you heard me right, they are ALL named Koda.  They vary in sizes and have different outfits.  In this photo she is sleeping with 3 of the 4 Kodas: Mommy Koda, Baby Koda, and Brother Koda.  There is nothing sweeter than watching her cuddle up for a nap… too tired to take off her coat, yet awake enough to make sure all her pups are accounted for.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

J.R.R. Tolkien Birthday Bash

Today my cousin Josh and I took some of the kids to Kennedy School McMenamins in NE Portland for the J.R.R. Tolkien birthday bash.  There were lots of children (including my own) and parents dressed up as their favorite Middle Earth characters. When we came across a little girl, about 4, Josh said "look she's an elf" to which she turned and replied "I'm Arwen of Rivendell".  Oh man!  He got schooled!  They had all kinds of fun festivities like ribbon dancers, balloon artist, costume contest, live radio reading of "The Hobbit", and live music.  Overall we had a good time, but I mainly enjoyed the opportunity to spend some quality time with my cousin and our children spending time with one another, before we leave for Alaska.  I will miss this.

(From left to right)
Cousin Dixie an elvin princess, Cecilia Samwise, Cousin Kyle a human of Gondor 

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Juneau we're moving to Alaska?

A piece I commissioned my cousin Katrina Guillen to do for our new adventure in Alaska.
My hair kinda looks like Aurora Borealis don'tcha think?
  Juneau has presented our family with an opportunity for new beginnings, and is full of promise.  Every time I speak to my husband it's all we can talk about.  Counting the days till we can stand in awe of the beauty it has to offer.  I've always dreamt of living in Switzerland, and in a small way I feel my dream is coming true.  To be surrounded by snow capped mountains, fir trees, rushing rivers just sounds like heaven to me.  I can't wait to get back to nature and go exploring, hiking, fishing, sledding, and just enjoying every moment of it with my family.  My husband and I always said we wanted our daughter's life to be (quoting Away We Go) "Huck Finn-y", and I believe it will be just that.  Here's to the next great adventure.

For more inspiring quotes and photos visit

Monday, January 6, 2014

Say Something

Being a mom is an endless balance of time; how you manage it can result in bliss or meltdown.  Finding "ME time" can be a challenge, but when you do it's important to make the most of it.  Some moms craft (like my sister over at A Road Worth Running), some read, some Pin, or catch up on their shows…. watch that not so PG movie you've been dying to see, run, cook, or all the above.  Me?  I do music.  Don't get me wrong, I play when my kiddo's around, however it's nice to play my guitar uninterrupted.  Today I got to indulge in a little me time with my good friend Jayson Camp.  He's a wonderful musician and lyricist.  We covered A Great Big World's "Say Something" in two takes, something I'm very proud of.  No matter how busy life may be at times, I hope that you set aside time for yourself.  You will be happier for it and in turn so will your little one.  

For more videos please visit our youtube pages or if you're in need of any kind of videography, or photography services I would highly recommend Jessika Lynn of Jessika Lynn Photography.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

1/52: A Portrait A Week

I have never been good at resolutions but this is one I've been waiting to participate in.  So much will be taking place over the next year that I want to capture it all.  I invite you all to join me.  Send me your link, I'd love to follow your adventures.

Cecilia Loves wooly bear caterpillars.  She will beg to go hunting for them every time we leave the house.  She has a 80% success rate of finding at least one.

Christmas in the Mountains

My Husband had recently returned from a 6 month deployment for the holidays.  It can be such a whirl wind of family and friends that you can forget to live in the moment and enjoy one another's company.  He never gets to stay very long so we try to make the most of it.  Some friends of ours from church were kind enough to loan our family their cabin for a few days.  Since Brandon wouldn't be able to stay   till Christmas we celebrated there early.  We got to cook together again, something we miss very much; star gaze, enjoy the fire, and even try some fly fishing.
It's been a long time since my Husband's been able to cook me breakfast.

Off to try our hand at fly fishing

I made this dish on our last night and it was yummy.  It is pear, goat cheese, drizzled with honey, and sprinkled with pomegranate seeds.  

Christmas morning was…. rough….. for some.

Shortly after we finished opening our gifts we got a phone call from my Husband's boat, our orders had come in.  Our family is headed to Juneau Alaska this June and we couldn't be more excited.  We love being outdoors and enjoying nature as a family.  I will be able to say that I have lived in every state on the U.S. West coast.  The adventure continues and I can't wait to see what wonders it will bring.