...is the process by which we create, discover, learn and grow with those we cherish most.


welcome sophia!


My beautiful niece has arrived! And congratulations to Humzah for becoming a big brother. Ava, now accustomed to being an older sibling [officially last month since Noah moved into her room] gave Humzah some genuine experienced pointers.

First, kiss the baby and say Hi.
Secondly, get a piece of chocolate to celebrate the occasion... before it's all gone.

We're all excited and blessed to have this angel come into our lives. Oh how we forget how tiny they really are. Ava has been wondering if she can play with her... and asked if Sophia will be her friend.

Oh - she's so much more I tell her. She's like your sister... and you do everything together... just like Mommy and your Aunt Wagma.

With all our love, welcome home Sophia!

last days of summer


Our backyard is changing before our eyes - Our pink and white crepe myrtles left before saying good-bye and the overgrown vines took residence - since we abandoned swimming in the pool some time ago to notice its growth. I went into the backyard for fresh air after the rain, and accepted my invitation from Fall. We can't help feeling anxious and yet... a little reluctant about our annual guest. Our sweet tooths will miss their summer friends of coconut gelatos, chocolate milk shakes, pink cotton candy or icy pops.

end of summer

But I guess we're willing to trade these for hot cocoa, funnel cakes, and pecan pie for awhile. And spending more time outdoors swinging, biking, or walking to the park. Trips to the zoo will be comfortable now, and picnics a little less warm on our backs. We've had an incredibly hot summer this year, with memories that will carry it to the next. And as long as we can bring those swim goggles inside during bath time - we're good to go.

bathtime is much more fun with goggles


Fall... we look forward to your visit with us... soon.

pssst - I've been posting new but old stories and dating them as they occured - so you'll have to scroll through the posts below to capture them. Unless you're already an email subscriber to my feed - then you have all the new stories written [hint, hint.] If you missed 'em, here they are: making new friends, day trip: fossil rim, in love with handmade, oldie but goodie, big red, is it art?, the making of brownies and new chefs in the kitchen, and finally, more than just a ride.

Whew - it's been a busy blogging week.... xo


Ava & Noah went to their Great Grandma Agnes' birthday party tonight, and enjoyed satisfying their sweet palates of youth, while Grandma Agnes sat between them and sweetened her palate of almost a century of wonderful moments... and telling us whole heartedly, that they were all full of blessings.


After putting the kids to bed and making sure Ava brushed really good,
I went through old photos I had scanned years ago when she let me borrow her album. I still can't help but wonder about the events that transpired when these photos were taken 60-70 years ago - each face expression telling a different story...

When I first visited her and Bill in Kansas in 2001, I discovered a globe in their living room where Afghanistan was circled with a sharpie. Strange I thought - did they buy it like this? It turned out that when they learned their grandson was marrying an Afghan, they were curious about my heritage - and didn't want to forget before they got the chance to meet me. How wonderfully considerate I thought - as I myself had become accustomed to calling myself an American since my roots were transplanted here when I was very young. It just never seemed to come up in conversation with others ... so this one simple gesture on their part made me instantly feel proud of belonging to a country across the other side of the globe. I stared at Afghanistan carefully circled on the blue globe, and remember smiling at myself - then at them for taking the time to learn this truth. It was a priceless moment and lesson I will never forget.

Nor will I forget tonight, where I watched my children be a part of the celebration - of family - and generations coming together to honor where they came from...


Thank You


The summer days have swam by us without us even getting wet. Our pool sweeper is the only thing that reminds us we have one in the backyard. Each night when the timer goes off, the rattling of the machines kick me in the head – another night Ava hasn’t grown the gills I promised she would by summer’s end. The shovels stand upright, the castle molds lay on their sides – the sandbox looks like a miniature desert – crossed only by lizards and mosquitoes buzzing overhead.

Much of summer has been spent indoors: painting, singing new songs, and venturing around town for art exhibits and crafts. It seems like our hours are never enough.

September has already made its presence – well, on the calendar board at least. Until the weather catches up, I am anxious for the whimsy that comes with fall and all its golden colors. I’m ready to let go of what I haven’t achieved this summer, and start thinking about what we will do with hot cocoa in our hands.

There’s just something about this transitioning month that puts all timely must-do’s into perspective. And I love it.

It’s good to be back online blogging again – I’ve missed you so much. And all the wonderful posts you genuinely stream back to me. I received a special post from my Portugal friend a few weeks ago that reminded me how important this blog is and the friendships that have been connected because of it. Thank you Ze for that sweet reminder of what this blog means to you. And thank you Julie, for your loving advice that helped me cool down enough to enjoy the summer.

I'd like to still include some of the events as they happened and share those moments with you. I've dated the stories back to the summer... as [or close to] they happened. So please scroll back a few chapters in the next couple of days to read about them.

And like the foliage of fall, thank you all for waiting... so beautifully...

Here we go....

making new friends

Back in February, in the midst of preschool scouting confusion, I came upon the notion of trying a Mother's Day Out program where there were no waiting lists. Just one day - first come first serve.

Aaron laughed. But when the sign-up date rolled around, he left the house at 4:45 that morning [even though they didn't open until 8] with breakfast and a long book to read [most likely filled with conspiracies]. When he arrived, he discovered that he was the fifth person in line. With our deposits handed over, we still held our breath for the da vinci - and since that didn't come to pass - we found ourselves the last weekend of August starting to scramble for dear life... "are we really going to do this?"

Apparently so. Because Ava no doubt is shy. But she thinks everyone is her friend. We'll be at the grocery store, library, or drive-thru and Ava will ask out loud, "Mommy, is she my friend?"

"Yes, Ava. Of course she is. Say hi..." and then we wave together.

She needs social entertainment - for play and learning. I've conceded to this fact. On the other hand, what worries me the most are the pushing, pulling or biting incidents that may occur when there's more than one toddler in a room. I know, I know.. it will inevitably happen - and the teachers may or may not see it. [sigh]

So I decided to stop dwelling on the whatifs and get with the program. Like buying new shoes....


Oh how I love the children's dept at Nordstrom. Simply for the fact that they have excellent customer service - and patience. Imagine fitting 6 pairs of sneakers between two wiggly toddlers? And by wiggly, I mean having to chase Ava and wrestle Noah to sit still long enough for our salesman to measure their feet, cover them in cotton and lace each pair. The chasing didn't begin until we asked them to stand up and walk around to test how it feels. They just wouldn't come back....

Onto the next challenge: finding a backpack without Dora, Ariel, or Thomas' head on it. And although I consider myself crafty - I didn't dare try this time. I finally scored mini-adult backpacks [for airport travel] and opted to use these instead. Then I found myself driving across town in search of nap mats... yes, I'm afraid I'm serious.

Napmats can be found online for a hefty price - or at specialty shops - who order them online... This would have been much easier if I prepared for all of this at the beginning of summer. But it's the night before, and getting all the items on their list of things to bring was trivial - not to mention - stressful.

I tried the camping aisle at Target and found 2 youth bags - and snatched it. It was finally coming together... for the big day....


I keep having to remind myself that this isn't really a "school" - it's just a practice run for preschool. This is just playtime - and Ava gets to see her "friends" twice a week, and Noah just once. The great part is that their rooms are adjacent to each other - and they have gym at the same time - so they can play together too - ok, this is where I cry...

And wonder if I'm doing the right thing. When Ava attended camp for one week, I was a complete mess. This wasn't as bad - but yet - it was. Because her little brother was [gulp] tagging along.


And being the big sister she was meant to be - she carried his lunch all the way to school... I mean, playtime. Watching Ava & Noah together is like watching a symphony in action - we feel everything. They play. They share. They follow. They fight. They console and they hug - each other.

But today, Ava is on a quest to make new friends. Hoping someone in her class will ask first, "Mom, is she my friend?"

And Ava would readily respond, "oh yes! I always have been."

Off to make new friends


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