alyx and kate

Letting them run + thoughts on going back to school

Sometimes, when I'm in the thick of busy season, we still need to get out and plan, run, and laugh. It's often hard to pull myself away from my weekly routine and productivity. The joys of working from home, I guess. I can't say I have all this work-life balance worked out, because I often don't. But I do go through good spells of it and feel on top of the world. 

I never regret taking these breaks, especially during the summer when when it's all three of us and we get to enjoy one another's company. School here in the Northwest doesn't start until September, which feels like a good time away still to enjoy summer. My nieces back in the midwest start in just a couple of weeks! A lot is going to change in our little corner of the world come school time though. Kate starts full time kindergarten, which means both of my kids are in school during the day. I've done photography full time since she was born and got my degree, but the schedule was more like part time to meet their school schedules.

Now I'm having the opportunity to work more and have more time to myself, which seems rather surreal. I hardly know what I'll do with myself without my babies during the weekday. However, I know this will be a great step for each of us, as I also hope to start a Master's program next spring. I've already started working more, taking advantage of our amazing weather, and we're also planning to get more hiking and camping in too!

I hope your summer is going great! What are you looking forward to or planning as the school year starts again? Have a great week friends!

His First Orchestra

Investing. It takes so much time and energy to invest in not just your kids (duh!), but in their additional activities and the little lives they have going alongside yours. I am careful to incorporate ideas for them, but also to hear what they are interested in as well. Right now, this season is full of music for each of them. Between piano lessons once a week and viola lessons three times a week, it keeps our little ones mighty busy.

They have come to really love playing for us and beaming with pride as they learn and grow. It's one of the those things you can't fail at and provides endless satisfaction. I'm grateful right now for music. They may not love it next year or even next month, but right now, it is good for us.

So when January rolled around, we were anxious to see our boy perform in his first orchestra since starting this school year and joining in these music lessons. To be honest, hearing them practice at home is less than desirable. Lets just be real here and say that hearing them at very first is rather painful. But most instruments are much easier on the ears when there are other instruments playing as well. We have braved through the months of practice to get to this point. And he played his little heart out.

I had fears for him, of course. Namely, stage fright, being in front of so many people, and has he really practiced enough for this?! He dressed in his very best, feeling "like a spy," he said, and went up there with no reserve, no anxiousness, and absolutely no fear! I was so proud and in that moment just felt like I had done something right. I'm so excited to continue seeing each of my kids learn and grow and be apart of their busy lives.

Not quite goodbye

Some of our dear friends have accepted a once in a lifetime offer, a sweet offer that moves their entire family from the beautiful Pacific Northwest to the midwest. In less than a month, they will be gone. In all honesty, aside from being the awesome people they are, they are our only friends with kids even close to our kids age. It's not just us losing our friends, it's our whole family.

It's always hard watching those you love leave, but we know they are doing what's best for them, and we have to support them. Plus, it really only means bigger and better road trips to visit them! We are all pretty darn excited for that part!

So as you would expect, we are spending AS MUCH possible time with them as we can. This was just the first of two days spent with them over the long weekend. It's really been the best ever! They are leaving their adorable little country house in the city, and I really wanted to capture some of it, as well as moments of our kids together.

It's these sweet moments we live for ya know. I've come to realize lately, that while we had great friendships early on in life (and some people get to keep those going), it's the ones later on, the ones that really grow with you - that make you cherish those around you. And I couldn't cherish these people more.

Best wishes on Memorial day and always. 

p.s., if you've never made homemade ice cream, the kind you shake in a bag + it only takes 5 minutes, you HAVE to try it!

An Easter without candy

Easter this year was much different for us. We love tradition, but it just so happened that Easter and my husband's birthday were on the same day! We had booked a trip for the two of us months ago, not realizing the two dates coincided (it's never happened before). Well, we still went on our trip while the kids spent the holiday with Grandma. A few days later, we had some fun ourselves!

It all started with a map for a scavenger hunt to find their Easter baskets. Our yard is pretty open, but the flowers in my garden worked great to hide them! Again, because we didn't go all out with an egg hunt and family around, we really tried to amp up the excitement. I can't let my babies down! We also made a small and delicious Easter dinner together.

As you see in the title, we didn't buy a single piece of candy this year. We are all naturally sweet tooth kind of people, but we value our bodies and what goes in them. It's something we want to teach our babes as well. Of course, we don't deny the things we love either (Grandma gave them all the treats this year!) So in case you might be wondering what was in their pails, we included: a small book, a Spring clothing item that was needed, Annie's fruit snacks and granola bars, and flower seeds.

Our kids were just as happy as they've ever been, and I am so thankful for positive life changes and the simple pleasures we share together. Hope your Easter was wonderful!! xoxo

An afternoon in the mountains

We had appointments in the morning, and instead of getting back into routine, we pushed that aside and decided fresh mountain air was just what we needed. And did we ever! We've had the most mild winter, and missed playing in the snow. So, it all just fit perfectly! We didn't get to do anything to extravagant, many roads were still closed and we weren't exactly ready for trekking miles through the snow - but it was blissful nonetheless! 

Lately, I've been transferring photos that have been sitting on my old laptop unedited for longer than I'd like to admit. My goal this year is to really get through them all and make more books to get them into our hands. I did make one for last year, it is so fun. You can see it HERE. It's been a process, but since I've been caught up on work lately, it's working out nicely. I'll be sure to share more of those here since there are many favorites I've been anxious to get through!

Spring is upon us, and isn't it so nice?! Well, I hope it is wherever you are. Be back soon and happy spring!!