Memories, Dreams, Reflections 2015

I know I have primarily posted photos for the past year, and very minimal in the way of more in-depth content. Just seems to be where I’m at right now. So, enjoy our year-in-review in photos, with just a few tiny little comments thrown in.



I love you

i love you

Road-tripping it this past summer, wearing my sunglasses

Still laughing…

still laughing

… about the time they played in the sprinkler with their goggles on

Winter Wonderland


I really don’t know if I would call it a “wonderland” per se, but…. we did have a ton of snow in the early part of last year. So much so that I would be fine if we kept our totals this year to a minimum.

To be clear, I don’t really mind the snow. I think it’s pretty, and really it’s just a part of living in New England. What I didn’t like about last year was the absolutely horrible job the city (which we pay good money to) did with keeping the roads clear. I mean, they barely even tried.

That, and it lasted a solid eight weeks.

winter wonderland



Probably my favorite birthday party of last year. He was so excited for it to *finally* be his party.



I was inspired…

beer bottlessmall

… to turn beer bottles into a piece of artwork… gosh, I really love doing still-life with textures. Something I should revive in this year!


… and I was inspired to do my first painting/icon

Spring Feverspring fever

can’t wait to see if the plants come up again this year!



Baby on a beach. Rocks and dirty knees. Oh, and a sweatshirt because, New England.

Summer Days

summer days

summer days

Brave grandparents took them paddling, I volunteered staying on shore with the baby…

A Day in My Life

helping at Aldis

Just helping out with the grocery shopping

All Smiles

all smiles

Picking up an Auntie/Sister from the airport after her being away for a year at school!!!

Autumn Harvest


I know, I’ve used this photo multiple times since it was taken 🙂



My side of the family as of January last year. Since then: we haven’t added anyone not pictured, but we did  have a wedding (Simon and Yasie – in the back holding baby Z.) and we’ll be adding another come March. Other than that all the kids have just gotten bigger.



Some days you celebrate raindrops on roses and maybe just the fact that roses bloomed in December

Let’s Do it Again…

from our "first day of school" photos

… annual “first day of school” photo… They keep getting taller and we keep adding babies

I Miss You


“Bye! We’ll miss you!!!”



Wildflower bouquet from one of the little ones

Dress Up

dress up


macroProbably one of my favorite close ups of the year



St Lucia Day during Advent

My Favorite


OK, one of my favorites of us taken this year!

Just Because…

just because

… Christmas lights are pretty

Just Because… some more

just because

…and you really just need more watermelon in your life

Hopes and Dreams for 2016

siblings november-3

{ETA: March 2016}


Linking with Ashley Sisk for the annual M, D, R post

Advent ~ week 2


Good Thursday evening folks. Just a quick little check in with how our Advent has gone this past week. I’m joining in the Theme Thursday #holylens linkup (link at the end of the post), so those photos are spread throughout. {If you’re not familiar with #holylens, it’s a daily photo prompt based on the daily readings from scripture ~ search it out on Instagram or FB}


Our St Nicholas Day celebration went off just fine. The kids kept reminding/asking me when/if it was *THE* day yet, so I had a hard time forgetting. We usually do real simple: Shoes out by the fireplace and in the morning they have a candy cane, some chocolate gold coins (however I can split one of those mesh bags evenly, usually 3-4 pieces) and a new Christmas-y book to continue building our collection. This year I decided to also give them their ornament at this time.


Some real moments for your enjoyment:
* Zachary’s book didn’t come (ordered too late… still waiting for it to arrive)
* Karl’s book did come (but not until today, Thursday… I wrapped up a library copy for him to open)
* None of the ornaments were completed. Three of them are now, and Zachary’s will be done as soon as I sit down and finish it.

Note for next year: Order the books before November.

And that’s about it. I usually have a picture book of St Nicholas Stories, but I forgot to get one from the library.


As far as daily happenings in the Advent reading department, we’re doing them as we’re able. I try to read at least one Christmas-y book per kiddo out loud. Sometimes they get in a few more. We’re also reading The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, which I’m loving (I’ve read it numerous times), but I’m not sure if the kids are getting anything out of it. They do sit quietly and listen though.


Prayer while lighting the candles:

O God, as light comes from this candle, may the blessing of Jesus Christ come to us, warming our hearts and brightening our way. May Christ our Savior bring life into the darkness of this world, and to us, as we wait for his coming.

I don’t remember where I found this one, but when I first said it last week it was on a morning where I was… shall we say…. more than a little grumpy. And my heart was definitely in a cold spot, but I said the prayer and it was like a little shining light of hope, that we can make it through the hard days.


Very briefly, I just barely made it to Mass for the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. The options for our parish were lunch/nap time, dinner time, or bed time (in Spanish). If I wasn’t pregnant I would have ventured to take the kids by myself, but I just can’t handle them all for even a short service. Anyways, I found a “bilingual” Mass at another parish and made that one after rushing through a few things.

I felt so weird being there, because most everyone was Spanish. But I just keep thinking there had to be a reason for me to be there. It was a beautiful service. I had never been to a regular Spanish Mass (been to Easter vigil and a few weddings), but this was different. I was really able to see a lot of love for Our Lord. Especially when Father held up the Body and then the Blood, he just held it up, and people began praying in tongues. Now, I don’t have the gift of tongues, and I have rarely seen it outside of a Charismatic (non-Catholic) church, but I just felt, if ever there was a moment for the Holy Spirit to come upon people, why not THAT moment? Felt chills for sure.


Have a blessed third week of Advent folks!


Linking with Micaela @ California to Korea {also if you’re on Instagram check out #holylens, or feel free to do so on FB} and with Like Mother, Like Daughter

#holylens for Theme Thursday

I mentioned yesterday that I had a few more thoughts on Advent. Mainly that translated to what I’m doing for Advent personally. The honest answer is not much. I had a devotional or two that I was planning on working my way through, but it just hasn’t happened yet.

One thing I have been trying to make a priority is to get the daily Scripture readings done (I use the Blessed is She devotions, sent to my phone because it’s super easy and the devotions are not so full of theological profoundness that I can’t keep up at 6:00AM – not to say there isn’t a place for those profound thoughts, but my little brain has a hard time keeping up so early…)

Anyways aside from that I’ve been participating in Abbey’s Holy Lens project, mostly on instagram (but here’s the link to the FB group page if you’d like to jump in over there.).

I *try* not to overthink the whole thing, but sometimes I do… I love the idea of finding a simple everyday moment or thing that turns my attention to Our Lord, and usually causes me to remember what was read in the readings for the day.

So, without further ado my #holylens photos so far this week:


For stopping.. or slowing down as may more often be the IRL case of this particular sign… But a sign nonetheless that this is the season of waiting.



It’s a book – there are words – I didn’t have any “great insight” for this prompt



I’m pretty sure this was a prompt last year, and I’m pretty sure I used this same plant. It’s the only one I can even remotely see the roots of. And I like the new shoots coming off one of the older ones.

“root of Jesse” and all that.



Honestly don’t remember what any of the scripture readings were on this day (so I had no tie in), but we had a full breakfast and were very satisfied with it.



All day, I thought the prompt was stone {*shrugs shoulders*}. I just have this image of everything resting on the rock that is Jesus and I hope to be reminded of that as I daily step over these little rocks that are in our driveway.


Linking with Micaela @ California to Korea {also if you’re on Instagram check out #holylens, or feel free to do so on FB}

Catchlights: Theme Thursday

Again, I waited until today to take the actual photos 🙂


I was scrolling through some old photos looking for some photos for a different post and realized that most pictures have some sort of catchlight.

But anyways, I headed outside this afternoon with the camera. I was having a harder time getting much light in the eyes at first, but then I “accidentally” realized I could stand on a chair and have them look up and that would get more light.

So… that’s what I did. catchlights-2 catchlights-3 catchlights-4 catchlights

One of each of the kids. Z’s had the least light, but I just couldn’t get him to look up at me. This one I finally got because I had Kat dancing and yelling behind me to get him to look in my direction 🙂

May try to use these for whatever sort of Christmas card we do, if we make it to that point this year 😉


Find more over at Micaela’s

Silhouette: Theme Thursday

I kinda LOVE silhouettes!!!! I have been thinking the last few weeks that I’d like to make another set of these:

Silhouette example
{the one on the left}

{sorry about the quality of image – phone snapshot when I realized I wanted an example}

Anyway a few years ago (two?) I made a set of silhouettes of each of the kids and transferred it to wood, then gave it to Jared as a Christmas present. I figured since we have added a kid we could do another round….

When I saw that this weeks TT was silhouette (BTW, I totally find out what the theme is just a day or two before, since…. I just am super organized like that…) I figured why not start in on this project now.

Good thing I did because in a spur of the moment break during school time this morning I decided it would be a great idea to try and get “The Baby”.

Silhouette take 1-3

This is completely edited… because… um… 1-year-olds don’t understand “stand still” and “look at the bookshelf”. No, no, no…. All they see is mom on the floor, with a cool looking device in her hands that is *probably* off limits. Which all translates into “baby went after the camera the entire time” {Plus he was over due for a nap and needed a diaper change…} I may have to enlist the help of another adult to try for a better shot. But his hair curled so cute that I just couldn’t not post this.

Silhouette take 1-2

Or this…

Did I mention I have only one window in the house where the sun comes in directly? Well, this happens to be *that* window, and Z happens to be too short to clear the window sill. More problems 🙂

Silhouette take 1

I got a halfway decent one of Karl (also edited), but I was really just winging it and adjusting settings on the camera. While having Z grab at everything.

Better luck another day I guess?


I have some other silhouettes I’ve taken in the past that I like a little better. They’re on my most-of-the-time neglected Photography Blog. Direct links to those posts are: Trees here … More of the kids … And an armory (actually on this blog now that I look)…


Linking over at Micaela’s