Since I took most of 2016 “off” from blogging, I have a considerable backlog of real weddings to share here.  If you follow me on Instagram, you have seen sneak peeks here and there.  But, there’s nothing like the detail and eye candy that comes with a blog post!

I’m excited to finally give you a closer look at some of the beautiful events I was blessed to work on over the last couple of years.  In light of all the rain we’ve had in California lately (we are currently having the most intense rains of the last decade), I thought I’d share a little sunshine with this golden-hued Malibu wedding.  It all took place at the Adamson House in Malibu — a historic home off Pacific Coast Highway known for its gardens, magnificent ocean views, and brilliant use of Malibu Potteries tile.

Inyoung and Greg were such a darling couple and I loved working with them.  They epitomized grace and trust throughout the process.  I can’t tell you how vital it is to have TRUST between client and planner.  Inyoung inspired me with her own style, and then endowed me with the freedom to run with those ideas in the execution.  The result was a charming seaside celebration that was a delight to all.

The overall look of this wedding was timeless, classic, warm and inviting.  I love this palette: neutrals kissed by warmth.  Tones ranging from rich amber to soft butter yellow brought a cheery feel.  It was effortlessly elegant with a decidedly Californian influence, integrating lots of texture (like amaranth, maidenhair ferns, and mini persimmons at each placesetting) and chic printed pieces with whimsical calligraphy by the sweet Sally of La Happy Design.  Heather of Twig & Twine created the lush centerpieces accented by cut crystal and aged brass votives.  Guests dined on a beautiful seasonal menu created by Danielle of Paper Palate, including dishes like a burrata and fig salad, steamed fish en papillote, and filet of beef with chimichurri.  The perfect finish?  A party under the stars, DJ’d by my favorite Ian Gotler of RedShoe LA, accompanied by freshly scooped Carmela Ice Cream.

Enjoy these glowing images from the lovely Shannen Natasha

{ Vendor Team }

Design and Planning: Love & Splendor | Venue: Adamson House | Photography: Shannen Natasha | Catering: Paper Palate | Rentals: Classic Party Rentals | Floral Design: Twig & Twine | Iron Gates and Bentwood Chairs: Found Vintage Rentals | Flatware: Casa de Perrin | Linens: La Tavola Fine Linen | Live Musicians: Angelica Strings and Ybarra Music | DJ: Ian Gotler of RedShoe LA | Stationery: La Happy Design | Cake: Vanilla Bake Shop | Ice Cream: Carmela Ice Cream | Hair and Makeup: TEAM Hair and Makeup

It’s a holiday here in the US so we’re off to play with our visiting friends.  Hope you have a great start to the week!

Happy Wednesday, everyone!  How has your week been?  I have had a great one so far (including a sweet family Valentine’s Day celebration yesterday).  Today I’m back with part 2 of our Disney World vacation recap!

Part 1 can be found HERE.

Day 5: Since we were at WDW for 8 days, we chose to take one day “off” and spend it exploring other resorts (for future visits).  After a luxuriously slow morning, we headed to the Polynesian Resort for lunch at Kona Cafe.  The food was great and the property is stunning; we would love to stay there in the future!  Olive jumped into some impromptu hula lessons in the lobby and it was too cute for words.  We took the monorail to the Grand Floridian next door, and it was as beautiful as you’d expect.  I’d compare it to any Ritz Carlton-type property.  It’s more the type of place my parents would stay 😉 but lovely nonetheless.  I wouldn’t choose it for a family vacation.  Our last two hotel visits were Disney’s Pop Century and Art of Animation Resorts.  They are punchy, quirky and brightly colored — the most “Disney-esque” of their resorts.  I personally wouldn’t choose to stay at either resort, but they are very popular with families due to the cartoon-y themes and larger than life décor.

We spent the rest of the afternoon at Disney Springs, which is the revamped area formerly known as Downtown Disney.  It’s like a huge outdoor shopping mall, with the world’s largest Disney store as its anchor.  There are tons of great restaurants there and we left wishing we had a bit more time to explore.  We took a boat from Disney Springs to the Wilderness Lodge, which is the gorgeous property we stayed at in 2005.  It is modeled after the lodges of the great national parks (it was inspired by the Awahnee Lodge in Yosemite) and is definitely worth a visit.  We had dinner at the Whispering Canyon Café, a bustling BBQ-style restaurant with spunky waitstaff and horse races for the kiddos, among other amusements.  It was good but actually not as good as we had remembered from our last visit.  We went back to our hotel exhausted after a very long day.

Day 6: We kicked off day 6 at Hollywood Studios and some character visits, including Woody, Buzz Lightyear, and Mickey, of course.  For lunch we popped over to the Animal Kingdom Lodge (the stunning resort adjacent to the Animal Kingdom Park) and dined at Sanaa.  I highly recommend it for the Indian and African inspired cuisine.  The bread service with various chutneys was amazing!  We wrapped our day at the Animal Kingdom park, but a storm rolled in quickly that afternoon.  By the time we left, the park seemed deserted!  We had ordered ponchos to wear for the random downpours.  Though we considered going to the Magic Kingdom, most of the rides had been closed due to lightning strikes nearby.  So, we headed back to the hotel to hop in the jacuzzi.  People probably thought we were crazy getting into the jacuzzi in the rain, but it was one of the most memorable nights of our trip.  🙂

soggy sleepy bus ride at the end of the night 🙂

Day 7: Monday was Erik’s birthday!  We kicked off the  morning at Epcot with some “school bread” at the Kringla bakery in Epcot Norway.  Our goal was to finish visiting all of the countries in the world showcase, and we did!  We also visited with Mickey and Minnie, and I thought Noah might faint with excitement.  😉  Olive developed a hilarious habit of posing with souvenirs we wouldn’t buy for her (telling me that maybe I could see the picture later and get it for her birthday, ha! Smart girl!).  We spent the afternoon and evening at the Magic Kingdom, wrapping up the day with our favorite WDW fireworks show: Wishes.

Day 8: Our final day in WDW was short and sweet.  We had a flight to catch at dinner time, so we knew we’d be leaving the resort around 4 p.m.-ish.  We made the most of our last day and stayed at the Magic Kingdom.  We tried to eat all the yummy last minute food (Dole Whip and maple popcorn!), visit some final characters (including Rapunzel and Princess Tiana), and do the things you usually skip when you’re in a hurry (e.g. Tom Sawyer’s Island, The Tiki Room and Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse).  We also got to squeeze in Olive’s favorite rides: Splash Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain and the Tomorrowland Speedway.

this says it all, doesn’t it??  🙂

It was an incredible trip and I loved re-living it in preparing these posts.  My next entry will be a little guide to visiting WDW, especially with children.  Let me know if you have any specific questions or topics you’d like me to address and I’ll do my best.  🙂

As always, thanks for dropping by!

If you’ve known me for any length of time, you know I love all things Disney.  I grew up in Anaheim, California, home of the original Disneyland.  I’ve visited our California parks more times than I could count.  My parents took me to Disney World as an infant, but my first ‘real’ trip to Disney mecca was in 2005.  I traveled there with Erik and two of our other couple friends as a college graduation trip.  None of us were married at the time (!) so we stayed with the girls in one room and boys in another.  Over the course of a week, I fell even deeper down the Disney rabbit hole and knew it wouldn’t be long before I had to return.

Erik and I went back to Disney World in 2008 and you can see a little recap on the blog here.  This is one of my favorite things about blogging: that you can look back on memories with a click!

This time around, Erik and I had our two kiddos in tow and it was a whole different ball game.  😉  We knew that going to Disney World with kids would change the dynamic of our vacation style.  We are both very active travelers and like to be up and out all day long, going at 100% and squeezing out every bit of our vacation.  So, we tempered our expectations and planned for a memorable time for our family, albeit at a slower pace.  We were thrilled to find out that our kids seem to have inherited our crazy traveler genes, so we ultimately were able to do everything we had hoped.

We spent 8 days and 7 nights at Disney World and I’ll try my best to recap our trip over two posts.  I’ll likely add a third post to recap some general travel tips and notes for those hoping to plan a trip to “the world” with kiddos.  For now, let’s jump into the whirlwind review with lots of photos.  😉

Day 1: We landed in Orlando at sunrise, gathered our luggage and boarded Disney’s Magical Express (their resort bus system) to our hotel.  We opted to stay at Disney’s Port Orleans French Quarter Resort this time around and we LOVED it.  More on the resort in a future post.  😉  We left our luggage with the concierge and headed straight to our first park: Hollywood Studios.  Highlights there on Day 1 included meeting Moana (Olive’s very favorite right now), having lunch at the Sci Fi Drive-In, and going on Toy Story Mania.  Erik and I are super competitive at this game and we’re both really good at it, if I say so myself.  😉  We crashed early that night to get set for another jam-packed day!

Day 2: We were up bright and early to head to Epcot: my favorite park!  Our highlights in the first half of day 2 were lunch at the San Angel Inn in Epcot Mexico (where you dine under a faux-starry sky inside a Mayan temple) and going on Living with the Land.  This slow-moving boat ride discusses various farming practices and sustainable living, and is oddly my favorite ride at Epcot.  I guess I love an educational ride!  We moved to the Magic Kingdom (which is like the original Disneyland park) in the afternoon, where we were able to try a citrus swirl: frozen yogurt swirled with an orange flavored soft-ice.  It’s a WDW-exclusive treat akin to a Dole Whip but don’t worry… we still made sure to get some fabled pineapple Dole Whip later.  😉  We hopped on Small World, Peter Pan’s Flight and the Jungle Cruise, among other rides that evening.

Day 3: On this day we headed to the Animal Kingdom park: an incredible park that is half amusement park, half zoo.  It feels a lot like the San Diego Wild Animal Park, if you’re from California.  The entire park is lushly landscaped and there are no cages — just carefully constructed natural barriers.  I love wandering around this park and especially enjoy the educational aspects they’ve built in for children.  Kiddos can grab a Wilderness Explorer guide (a la “Up”) and earn badges (stickers) for stopping to chat with a docent at each exhibit.  Ollie loved this part of the park and I loved watching her run after all the guides!  😉  In the evening, we returned to Epcot and had an incredible dinner at the Biergarten in Epcot Germany.  I highly, highly recommend for wonderful food and AMAZING live entertainment (oompah band).  The restaurant looks like you’re dining outside in the heart of a German village and it was magical from start to finish.  I maaaaybe teared up when they played “These Are a Few of My Favorite Things” on the handbells.  😉

Day 4: We began the day at the Magic Kingdom and had major luck (or shall we say, a stroke of fairy dust??) scoring a last minute table for lunch at Be Our Guest (aka Beast’s Castle).  The reservations for this restaurant are usually gone 6 months out from your trip, but we got the very last walk-in table by RUNNING there when they opened.  Olive was entranced.  We also met Ariel (who was hilarious and so great in character) and went on tons of rides.  For the sake of brevity, I’m not listing our “touring plans” in these posts.  Rest assured that we are pretty intense Disney people (ha!) and do not waste any time with our running around the parks.  Noah also got his inaugural pair of “ears” on this day, and I tried to make him wear them as much as possible.  🙂  We ended the day at Hollywood Studios.  One of my fav pictures from this day is the selfie of us on the bus.  Noah is sucking his thumb (signaling he’s ready for bed) and we all look wilted, but it’s such a real portrait of what a WDW vacation with kids is like!

Whew!  Much more to come in Part 2!

Any other fellow Disney-lovers out there?  Have you ever been to Disneyland or Disney World?

Have a wonderful Thursday; see you again soon!

Happy Monday, everyone!!  It feels SO good to be back on the blog.  It has been months since my last post, but it has been even longer since I blogged regularly.  Truly, I have missed it.  I’ve blogged in some form since college (2001-ish), back when I used Xanga (who remembers that??).  My content evolved over the years, but one thing remained: my love of writing.  I really enjoy having a place to share my memories and thoughts (like a virtual scrapbook of sorts, since I’m 7+ years behind on my physical scrapbook! ha!), as well as another venue to connect more deeply with all of you.

If you’ve followed me for a while, you’ll know I use this blog to chronicle my life as a whole.  You’ll find posts on family, lifestyle, food and weddings (work).  I enjoy sharing a little bit of everything, but please let me know if there’s anything in particular that you love seeing here!

me and my two year old!

Things may be random as I play a little catch-up here and get back into the groove.  Coming soon to the blog:

  • a recap of our Disneyworld vacation last month
  • family updates
  • a backlog of beautiful weddings
  • essential oil 101 (current obsession)

Thank you SO much for stopping by and checking in with me.  I hope you’ll come on back for more very, very soon.  To keep up with me, follow along on Instagram, Facebook, and subscribe to the blog here!

What are you up to this week?  I am prepping for Noah’s 2nd birthday party this weekend.  We actually were supposed to have it on Saturday but postponed it at the last minute.  Looking forward to (finally!) celebrating my baby boy!

Happy First Day of Summer!  School is out for Olive and I am looking forward to all the uninterrupted family time that comes with this time of year.  Bring on the BBQs, the watermelon, and the beach days.  I love a spontaneous adventure as much as the next gal, but let’s face it: a planner has gotta plan sometimes.  😉  Today I was inspired to write up a little summer bucket list to get some fun activities on the calendar for my family.

Summer Bucket List 2016

  1. Host a Korean BBQ dinner at our house
  2. Make homemade ice cream (this isn’t difficult, since I’ve made multiple batches already in the last month…)
  3. Go berry or cherry picking
  4. Beach bonfire, complete with s’mores
  5. Make popsicles
  6. Backyard campout
  7. Go bowling
  8. Sidewalk chalk afternoon
  9. Watch a movie at the drive-in
  10. Tie-dye with Olive
  11. Watch a baseball game
  12. Picnic at the beach
  13. Day at the Midstate Fair
  14. Make lemonade
  15. Family hike
  16. Santa Barbara Zoo
  17. Family bike ride
  18. Go stargazing at a local dark sky location
  19. Watch the sunrise and the sunset on the same day
  20. Read the World Summer Book Club

Other givens: lots of apple tasting at Gopher Glen, eating tons of homegrown tomatoes and sugar snap peas from our garden, park days, play dates and road trips.

What am I missing?  I’d love to hear something on your own summer bucket list!  Hope you’re having a great start to the week; see you again soon!

I’m baaaaaack!  And boy, have I missed it.  I have blogged on and off for 15 years (!!!) but am frequently “off.”  When things get busy (often), the blog is always first to be put on the back burner.  After a few weeks and then months go by, it seems intimidating to jump back into a routine.  But, I have sincerely desired to return to this space and am looking forward to sharing more regularly again.  One thing I’ve always loved writing about is the random finds/things that I’ve discovered and fallen for.  So I thought I’d jump right back into this blogging thing with my most recent “lately love” — BeautyCounter.

I have always been into skincare, following in the footsteps of my mother and her fastidious facial cleansing routines. I grew up watching her use dozens of products on her skin, treating her face with the utmost delicacy, visiting spas and getting facials regularly.  Although I haven’t invested the same amount of time and money into my own face (much to her chagrin, ha!), I’ve certainly seen firsthand what it looks like to take care of one’s skin.  Like most women, I went through stages with my skin care.  There were years I spent too much time in the sun, and years I went to bed with a full face of makeup.  Now that I’m older (read: getting fine lines and wrinkles) and somewhat wiser, I am more motivated to put some effort into my self-care.  Though I inherited some pretty good “skin genes,” I know good skin care starts from the inside out.  Good sleep and hydration are both key to healthy, supple skin.  From there, my desire is simply to take care of my skin in the most healthy, natural way possible.

Just over a month ago, I was introduced to BeautyCounter by my dear friend Lindsay.  She is an amazing wife and mama and one of my favorite women on the planet.  She also shares my desire for pure, natural products whenever and wherever possible.  I was immediately intrigued by the premise and heart behind BC.  BeautyCounter is a line of skincare, body care and makeup that is committed to providing the highest level of safe + effective products.  Created by a mama herself, the goal was to create the products she couldn’t find on store shelves.  BC has proactively banned over 1500 harmful ingredients from their own products, and are continually looking into each and every ingredient they use in their line to ensure its safety.  About 80% of their ingredients are organic and natural, and the other 20% of synthetic ingredients are carefully vetted.

I’ve had the pleasure of trying a host of BeautyCounter products and I am 100% in love.  I have noticed a real difference in the tone, texture, look and feel of my skin in just over a month.  I want to note that this is NOT an ad or sponsored post — this is just me sharing something I’ve discovered and loved.  Isn’t that always the best way to learn about something: to hear from a friend who loves it too??  I’ve tried tons of expensive products in my day but have never felt so good about a line as I do about BC.  It works and it makes me feel empowered using something safe and pure.

Here are the products I’ve tried so far:

  • Routine Clean Cream Cleanser (I use this every morning)
  • Countertime Nourishing Cleansing Balm (my very favorite BC product; it is a new holy grail item for me)
  • Countertime Radiance Firming Complex (another favorite product — feels amazing on the skin and gives me that glowy dewy finish I like)
  • Countertime Vibrant Eye Perfector (every morning and night)
  • Protect All Over Sunscreen SPF 30 (for me and the kiddos)
  • Kids Nice Do Shampoo
  • Kids Not a Knot Conditioner
  • + their former Kids Body Wash which has now been updated to the one below!

Here are the products on my wish list:

  • Nourishing Cream Exfoliator (I love a good exfoliant)
  • Purifying Charcoal Mask (like a 10 minute facial!)
  • Countertime Uplifting Day Cream
  • Countertime Restorative Night Cream
  • Super Duper Clean Kids Body Wash

My sweet Lindsay is offering free shipping this month if you’re interested in trying out some products.  Leave your email below and I’ll connect you with her directly to get the shipping deal!  <3

Your turn to share with me: what are your current beauty favorites, or your tried and true products?

Hope you all have a great weekend — see you again soon!

Happy Monday!  A second feature from the 2015 Love & Splendor Workshop is on Green Wedding Shoes TODAY.  We can’t wait for you to take a look at another one of our dinner settings.  For this particular evening, we dined outside the main house at Greengate Ranch and Vineyard.  Our inspiration was the equestrian property itself, bringing in rich autumn colors, masculine textures (such as leather, weathered wood and wrought iron), and luxurious details that made the experience truly special.

I never tire of looking at these photos from Braedon Photography — he captured every moment beautifully.

Make sure to check out the feature on Green Wedding Shoes today!  Now that we’ve been able to share some of the workshop on a larger scale, I’m looking forward to putting together some “closer look”  posts of each day of the workshop.  In those posts, I’ll be able to really focus on every beautiful detail and of course, share an overload of images.  Look out for that recap coming soon!

As always, I couldn’t have done a thing without my PHENOMENAL team…

photography: Braedon Flynn // planning & design: Love & Splendor // venue: Greengate Ranch and Vineyard in San Luis Obispo, California // floral: Wilder Floral Co. // furniture rentals: Found Vintage Rentals // tabletop rentals: Casa de Perrin // linens: La Tavola Fine Linen // décor rentals: Theoni Collection // catering: Trumpet Vine Catering // calligraphy: Anne Robin // paper goods: The Romance Between // donuts: Sugar Lips Mini Donuts // cake + mini desserts: Sweet and Saucy Shop // lighting: All About Events

Hope you all have a wonderful week.  I have a busy one ahead, filled with Skype calls, meetings, filming, and tastings.  In just the next seven days, I’ll get to see three of my couples.  Grateful for the amazing clients I have this year and I can’t wait to bring their unique celebrations to life.

Hi everyone!!  Let’s fast-forward through the requisite apology for not blogging in ages.  It has been an amazing yet action-packed season for me and when something’s gotta give, it is always the blog.  But — I am really looking forward to sharing more in this space in 2016.  Writing here is a great joy for me.

Along those lines, I want to share that we have a gorgeous feature on Green Wedding Shoes today!  My 2015 Love & Splendor workshop took place last fall at stunning Greengate Ranch and Vineyards in San Luis Obispo, California.  I’m ecstatic to FINALLY share some beautiful photos from Braedon Flynn.  Check out the post on GWS today, featuring our farewell dinner.  Next week we have the second part of the feature to share (!), and then I will be blogging about the entire workshop chronologically here.  🙂  For now, just a few teasers…

A huge thank you to Jen of GWS for coming all the way to SLO as a speaker (her second year in a row!) and also continuing to support and share my work.  Love you to pieces!

Thanks for reading & stopping by — much more to come very soon!

{DREAM TEAM for L&S Workshop 2015 Farewell Dinner} photography: Braedon Flynn // planning & design: Love & Splendor // venue: Greengate Ranch and Vineyard in San Luis Obispo, California // floral: Wilder Floral Co. // furniture rentals: Found Vintage Rentals // tabletop rentals: Casa de Perrin // linens: La Tavola Fine Linen // décor rentals: Theoni Collection // catering: Field to Table Events // calligraphy: Anne Robin // paper goods: The Romance Between // die cut gingko placecards: Jen Aitchison // ice cream: Negranti’s Ice Cream Truck // Photo Booth: CamBooth by Cameron Ingalls

PS // Today Noah is ONE (ohmygosh ohmygosh) and I have a sappy post in the works.  Too much excitement for one day, clearly, and I am still processing my mom-feelings.  🙂  Happy birthday to the littlest love of my life!

When I was 19-years old, I met a boy.  I was wrapping up my sophomore year at UC Berkeley (so was he) and though we never had a single class together, we attended the same church.  I will never forget the first time I saw him (from a distance, and I swear it was in slow-mo like in the movies) and gushed to my girlfriends that he was absolutely dreamy. We moved from admirers to friends, until one day Erik skated up to me on Sproul Plaza (yeah, he literally rolled up to me on his skateboard) and asked me to join him at a concert the following week.  I said yes, he skated away, and the rest is history.  🙂  If you’re wondering about the concert: we saw The Juliana Theory & the Ataris at the Fillmore in San Francisco.  Major points if you know either of those bands.  🙂

From then on, we were nearly inseperable.  We dated for the rest of our undergrad years, getting engaged during Christmas break our senior year.  I’ll share the amazing proposal story one of these days…  We got married just months after graduation, surprising most of our friends and family.  Why would we want to get married so soon, so young??

Oh how thankful I am to have spent such sweet, formative years with my one and only.  How grateful I am that we knew back then that this was IT — that love is a covenant and you choose to love every day.  Love is what you do.  We set our love upon one another, and that love has only deepened, matured and strengthened over the years.

Today we celebrate ten beautiful years of marriage (and over 12 years together).  I am in disbelief that the time has passed so quickly, and yet I can think back and see how full these ten years have been.  We have walked through so much together.  We’ve been blessed to travel to six countries together, along with many US destinations.  We both abandoned our “stable futures” and everything we had studied in college to pursue what we felt was truly our calling.  We’ve lived in four homes together.  We clung to each other in years of infertility and recurrent miscarriage.  We welcomed our miracle daughter in 2012.  We bought our first home together in 2013.  We took the leap of faith into the world of adoption in 2014 and embarked on a roller coaster ride through the domestic adoption process.  We welcomed our miracle son in 2015, via adoption.  We’ve laughed to the point of tears, we’ve cried in valleys of sorrow, we’ve fought and we’ve forgiven.  We have both GROWN, by the grace of God, and so has our love.  TEN years always seemed like the first “big” anniversary to me.  An entire decade.  Now that we have made it, I wonder if the next ten will fly by even faster?

If you follow me on Instagram, you know I am currently out of town celebrating with a mini-getaway.  I’m sure I’ll share more about that on the blog eventually.  Today I just wanted to share my top ten things I love about my college (and forever) sweetheart, Erik.

favorite pic of us on our wedding day — so much joy!

singing “be thou my vision” with our guests // it’s one of my favorite pics of the day
and was snapped by a friend in one of the front rows!

  1. His unwavering faith and devotion to the Lord — he exemplifies what it means to practice what you preach
  2. His ability to be silly & playful — we have so much fun together, and I can be my goofy self around him without any hesitation
  3. His sharp wit and humor — he makes me laugh every single day
  4. His brilliant mind — Erik has always challenged me and conversations with him elevate my own way of thinking.  God has given him such an ability to study, understand, retain and teach.
  5. His patience — he has so much grace for me and others
  6. His beautiful amber hazel eyes — they are the color of golden honey and they are captivating!
  7. His tenderness in parenting — Erik is the best father to Olive and Noah and there is nothing more attractive to me than seeing how he cares for our little ones.
  8. His uncanny ability to dominate at everything he does, whether it’s a long-time hobby or a brand new endeavor.  Erik is just good at everything, and it is kinda crazy.
  9. His romantic heart — Erik has always written me the most beautiful, sincere love letters and never misses an opportunity to wow me on anniversaries and special occasions.
  10. Your loyalty and devotion to me — I feel so secure in your love and you love me so well.

to my Erik — you are my greatest blessing on this earth.  I can’t adequately express how thankful I am for you, every single day.  10 years ago, I married the very best man I knew.  You still embody to me everything that a great man is: devoted to the Lord, full of integrity and honor, respectful, well-spoken and kind, tender-hearted, wildly intelligent yet strikingly humble, utterly hilarious! and personable, and let’s face it… you’re pretty easy on the eyes, too. 😉

I know I am better for knowing you, and for having the honor of living as your companion. you teach me so much just by the way you live.  You are a constant source of encouragement and edification to me, and there is such comfort that comes from the support you give.  I know how special our relationship is.  I truly believe it to be an (unfortunate) rarity: two people committed to love each other, and also wildly in love with each other.  I treasure what we share, and I am proud to be your wife.

It is a joy to love you… for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, until death separates us.

happy anniversary baby <3 I love you.

spring 2008 — the image is found

december 2008 – amelia lyon

fall 2009 – jessica claire

january 2012 – jose villa

july 2014 – ryan ray

june 2015 – the image is found

I hope you’re all having a great day; see you soon!

With Olive starting preschool in a month (!!!), I have had school supplies on my mind.  I always loved back-to-school shopping as a child, and now I get to be the one with the pocketbook, helping my own daughter fill up a cart with (cute) essentials.  Although the supplies truly necessary for a preschooler are limited, I knew I wanted to invest in a great first backpack.  My goal was to find something well-made, colorful and appropriately-sized.  Ideally, Olive will hold on to this backpack for at least a few years.  Here were my top contenders…

  • Herschel // Settlement Kids backpacks $39.99 — Herschel is synonymous with hip backpacks for kids and adults alike.  They have a kids line as well as a slightly larger youth line, for the bigger kiddos.  Olive was instantly attracted to the variety of quirky patterns offered; her favorite is the “South Beach” design in a bright teal, covered with palm trees and pink flamingos.  Both the Settlement and Heritage lines come in kids’ sizes.
  • STATE Bags // The Kane $55 —
    STATE Bags is like the TOMS of the bag world; they have a wonderful program that matches each bag sold with one given to an American child in need.  I love the playful color blocking on the bag, and the various pockets and compartments.  I think both colorways work for boys and girls.
  • Freshly Picked // Limited Edition Backpacks $30 —
    My favorite moccasin maker now makes limited edition backpacks!  This summer they did a playful banana print and a coral-backed palm leaf pattern.  Right now they’re offering a classic stars and striped backpack.  The price is right, too!
  • Skip Hop // Unicorn Backpack $20 — I love Skip Hop products and their sweet line of backpacks (and coordinating lunch boxes, plates, cups, etc.) is comprised of various animals.  The unicorn is a newer offering and it just puts a smile on my face.  This bag is the smallest of all at only 10.5″w x 12″h x 5″d.
  • Fjallraven // Kånken Mini backpack $65 — I love the squared-off shape of this iconic framed backpack, a Swedish classic.  It comes in a rainbow of colors (including some two-tone options) and is beautifully made.

Let me know if you have a favorite!  In the end, I couldn’t get Olive off of those “mingos” (what she calls flamingos) and we ordered the Herschel Kid’s Settlement backpack.  It shipped at lightning speed and the quality and craftsmanship exceeded my very high expectations.  Olive is already wearing it around the house in excitement for “school time.”

Hope you are all having a great week!