capturing a moment in time

briones photo shoot 11-29-15

This morning my girls and I had to rush out for a photography session.  It’s been many years, 4 to be exact, since our last candid outdoor photo session.

They complained as they got dressed about how early it was on a Sunday (not really since they on their own got up at 6:30 am), but dress they did and they looked beautiful.

The setting a local Regional park with trees and meadows and hills.  The sun just right and the photographer a great mix of business and fun!

I can’t wait to see the final pics of my girls as they were awesome in their listening and moments that I know were captured!

Day 29, #BlogHer #NaBloPoMo




believe 2

This may be the last year our 9-year-old actually believes in Santa and our Elf on a Shelf.  Why do I make this statement you ask?

She recently shared with me that at school she learned the tooth fairy is really the parents and not a fairy.  I pulled her aside so her younger sister wouldn’t overhear our conversation.  I asked her what did she believe? She said the boys in her class shared the “truth” and again I asked her what she believed.  She shared she wished they’d never told her.  To help her out I told her it’s the magic of the tooth fairy that you can still believe in and for now not to share what she learned at school with her younger sister.

My husband and I talked about this later that evening and are realizing it’s just a matter of time before she learns or figures out the “truth” about Santa and our Elf on a Shelf.  I hope like her reaction to learning of the tooth fairy that she will still hold on to the magic of believing.

So with that last night Earl our Elf on the Shelf returned.  Both girls excitedly were up early to see where he was in our home.  For the next 28 days Earl will continue to show up around our house getting into all kinds of fun and keeping them excited about finding his latest whereabouts.

We will go to the mall and visit Santa and get our pictures with him.  Our girls are set to write their letters to Santa as well.  We can then go to the mailbox the downtown Macy’s has that delivers directly to the North Pole.

As we wait to see when the belief stops and changes to the magic of believe, we embark on the 2015 holiday season.  As has become our family custom, the girls and my husband are currently assembling our pre-lit tree and decorating.

If your child stopped believing how did you handle the conversation?

Day 27, #NaBloPoMo, #BlogHer



Thanksgiving for us a house full of all the smells of wonderful foods!

This day is the kick off to the times we spend with family and friends.  These days we cherish as we make each holiday a warm memory.

This year was our first gluten-free holiday meal.  I prepared stuffing, pecan pie, apple streusel pie and cranberry sauce.  Of course the main meal was the traditional Turkey, mashed potatoes, green beans and bread, a turkey shaped bread to boot!

thanksgiving table 2015

We spent the day with friends with kids in our home.  We watched our children play and laugh as we did too.  We ate and drank and ate some more!

Our heart’s are full with gratitude for what we have and our circle of friends and family.

Happy Thanksgiving to you all!

Day 26 #NaBloPoMo #BlogHer

A day in a life

Today some of my blogger friends and I will tackle the same topic something we have done before and enjoyed.  This #NaBloPoMo post we’re each writing about the first and last things we do in the morning and at night.

So here goes my perspective:


How does my mornings start? At 2AM when my insomnia hits in full force and I reach for my iPhone on my night table? That happens way to often but I don’t want to consider this routine in my life.  Maybe instead when my husbands’ alarm wakes me and our dogs who snuggle in bed with us. They pop up knowing they’ll be fed before he hits the shower on his way to work.  Me? I roll over hoping for at least another hour of sleep before it’s time to wake.  Occasionally our little one tip toes down the hallway to our room and bed before school.  In most cases on a weekday I try to be up before I need to wake my girls but sometimes it’s only minutes before I must wake them to get ready for school and then we are all running behind. As I make my way to their rooms for their wake-up call I push the button on my keurig to get my coffee started a necessity in the morning. That’s how it goes on a weekday morning.

I’d much rather talk about a weekend morning though.  Yes Saturday, I can hear our girls wake and come out of their rooms but I do not yet need to stir. Now at 9 and 7 years old they happily occupy themselves with arts and crafts and will play quietly together.  Although there is occasion I need to intervene when things go sideways between them.  Then there are some Saturdays our youngest will come into our bed for a snuggle and it’s there we may lie for another hour or so.  I’m not a person that sleeps in but I enjoy the coziness of laying in bed before hopping out to get the day started. My husband will get up before me and get the pot of coffee started.  It is then I truly rouse myself out from under my down comforter ready for what the day has ahead. Depending on the season we could then be up and rushing for breakfast to make it out to a soccer match or swim meet.  The “off-season” is the best for Saturday mornings when there is no real rush to get anywhere and we can linger longer in pjs that morning too!

Home from pick up at school and extra activities, homework to do, and dinner to make.  It is during meal prep I will start to hear groans or yeahs for the meal being prepared as I roll my eyes knowing whatever their complaints they will eat most of what is served. Regardless of time we eat our meal together.  That is the part of the day that I look forward to as we regroup sharing the story of our day in great detail or tidbits depending on our girls’ mood!

Once our girls are tucked into bed these later moments are for conversation not interrupted by children or dogs! My husband and I usually have a continuous dialog from one day to the next about what’s going on or where we need to be on a day.  I can regale stories now from my “work” day as a noon-supervisor at our girls’ elementary school. Then its TV for me my go-to at the end of a day for light entertainment and non-thinking time.

I prefer the evenings in Fall and Winter when the darkness at the end of the day comes early and we are all snug in our home together.

All I can say is our routines for the start and end of the day have changed from our girls as babies to now that they’ve grown some.  I wonder what our routines will be when they are teens and older?

What is your morning and nighttime routine?

Now go visit my friends’ blogs to see their posts, too:

Day 25, #NaBloPoMo #BlogHer