Tag Archives: california

california 2011

16 Aug

I wanted to post a few pictures from our trip. I didn’t get AS many pictures as I would have hoped. Especially while we were at Disneyland. BUT, when you are taking TWO kids into a theme park, accompanied by strollers, diapers, clothing, food, toys, snacks, carriers, blankets, bottles, sippy cups, wipes, jackets, shoes- THE LIST GOES ON- the LAST thing you want to carry around is your huge camera. And for a photographer to say that means- WE HAD A TON OF STUFF WITH US.

So I snapped happily on my phone whenever I didn’t have my camera with me. Which was the entire trip to Disneyland. I need to invest in a small camera that I can throw in my purse. The last one I had… well, let’s not talk about it. So I’m thankful that the iPhone’s have a decent camera in them in the meantime!

San Diego NEEDS to be my new home someday. For real. This was the view from where we were staying. I was standing on the porch when I snapped this pic. We were right on the bay and it was fantabulous.

Aw. Sweet boy couldn’t get enough of this flower.

I was REALLY GOOD and didn’t work THAT much while we were supposed to be on vaca. But Jay caught me checking in on my emails.

Lots and lots and lots of cars go wherever we go. I find them everywhere. In the car. In my diaper bag. In his car seat. They are oozing out of our lives as we know it. And a WHOLE BUNCH followed us to San Diego. And followed us home. This kid LOVES him some cars.

Love my Epiphane bag. So. Much.

Aw. Brothers.

This is where we stayed. If you travel a little or a lot- it doesn’t matter. You NEED to check out HomeAway.com for lodging. It’s the first and almost only place I book through to find places to stay when we travel. I love it and we haven’t had a bad experience yet!

We have some pictures of us filming our promo video too, which is why we went to San Diego to begin with. But I’ll save those pictures for another time, maybe. It was a great time for sure! After our few days in San Diego, we headed North to Newport Beach to shoot THIS wedding:

Freakin’ rad. It was such an awesome wedding. We can’t wait to share the whole thing! Then we spent the last two days that we were in Cali in Disneyland! The happiest place on earth should also be known as the most exhausting place on earth. For real, right? Wowzers. But we had a great time and the boys loved it. I’ll never NOT do something just because it’s hard that the boys are small. It’s harder to do certain things now, but I refuse to miss out on life and things that I love JUST because it’s more work. SO. We went to Disneyland. And it was MORE work. For sure. But worth it and such a fun time!

And best picture ever…….

I wish I would have taken more pictures in Disneyland. Note to any mommy who’s taking two kids under two into Disneyland. You probably won’t be taking a lot of pictures during that trip. I was constantly making sure no one was about to have a meltdown, while planning out our route in Disneyland, riding rides and coordinating with meals and nap times. Whoa. It was worth it. Fabulous memories for us and I’m happy that both of my kids can now say that they’ve been to Disneyland more times within their first two years of life than a lot of adults can say. HAHA. We love Disneyland too much. And go as often as possible. Which is like twice a year. But I wish it was more.

Maybe it will be whenever we live in San Diego someday.


home again

16 May

I’m home again and very thankful to be here! Although, I had a BLAST in Cali and the Boudoir shoot I did went amazingly well!! Girls weekend away is definitely a MUST and I really should try to do it more often. This time I was away from Cruz for two nights, which is the longest I’ve ever made it away from him. It wasn’t hard, but I did miss him terribly.

Seeing him and Jay are the reason’s I’m thankful to be home.

So today I head out to photograph a wedding with Jay as Session Nine Photography! I’m stoked about it, it’s going to be a beautiful wedding! Let’s hope Rider allows me to work and doesn’t sit so high up that he causes my back to KILL. Like he’s been doing lately. Doesn’t he know by now that mamma’s gotta work?? Ha!

So I’m glad to be home, grateful for the trip I just had and ready to embark on the next two weeks which are going to be CRAZY. The packing has begun and wow. We have a lot of stuff.

But I’m grateful always to come home to this face. I love this picture- taken last October.

I’m not sure that it gets any cuter. I mean, really.

first night away

5 Dec

This is my very first night away from Cruz. It’s the first time I’ll be away from him for a full 24 hours, actually. I’m currently in California- my dear cousin Sarah is having a baby and I am out here to attend her baby shower and to take her maternity pictures! I’m so excited about these pictures, it’s not even funny.

It’s a quick trip- I flew in tonight where she picked me up, we picked her husband Jake up and the three of us went to Olive Garden for dinner- where we all agree that we just ate WAY too much! But how could you not? It’s just so yummy and although I am doing P90X, I am allowing myself one cheat meal a week.

So there.

I’ve just been having a blast with those two. They are such a cute couple and compliment each other so well- we just laughed over so much during dinner and all the way home and in the hallway of their house. It’s just so great to come hang out with family. I don’t see them nearly enough. Sarah is pregnant with their little girl, Jillian, AKA ‘Jillybean’, and I just love her to pieces already! I can’t wait for Cruz and Jilly to play like I used to play with all of my cousins. We are going to make sure that they know each other well and that they are great friends. Sarah is due in a couple months, and I just can’t wait to meet Jillybean!

Sarah and Jake have been so gracious to let me stay here. Tomorrow we have fun pictures planned all over town- and I even found the sweetest car down the street that we are going to try to use. I’m completely stoked.

It’s been a great few hours away so far, even though it is a quick trip. It’s crazy to think that I haven’t had a night away from Cruz since he’s been born. And although he is only one year old, that is a long time to never be apart from somebody. I think a night away was completely needed, but I also miss the little guy like crazy! He’s with Jay, and I of course know that he is being well taken care of, but it’s still hard to let go and relax.

But I’m going to try! I’m heading to bed because I have a long and extremely fun day ahead of me tomorrow! We are getting up bright and early to take those maternity pictures all over Cali.

After we get coffee.

And on that note, I am going to leave you with the most adorable picture of the most adorable boy on the face of the planet, who I miss terribly. I will see him tomorrow, and I have to remember that space and time away is good for me every once in a while.

Even if I do miss those chubby cheeks.

arm farts

28 Sep

Look at that face!

One of the nights that we were in San Diego last week, Cruz woke up crying really hard. Jay and I were in the living room of our suite, and usually I let him cry it out for a few minutes- most of the time he’s just transitioning and it takes him a couple minutes to go right back to sleep.

But this cry was different.

I jumped to my feet instantly and went into our room where he was sleeping. He was sitting up, crying and shaking. So of course I picked him up only to discover that he was definitely running a slight fever. It seemed weird to me- he didn’t have any cold or flu symptoms all day and I can usually tell when he’s teeth are bothering him. So I was kinda caught off guard to learn that he was running a fever.

I didn’t have a thermometer with us in the hotel, but I did bring Tylenol. So, Jay went into the bathroom to get it out of our toiletries bag and I rocked Cruz in the meantime. He laid his little head on my shoulder and I just rubbed his back until Dadda brought the Tylenol. We gave him just a little bit, I changed his diaper and then I held him some more. He put his little head back down on my shoulder and I just rocked him back and forth.

It was probably about midnight when all this was happening. And in the midst of it being the middle of the night, his fever, and being exhausted from the day, Cruz still managed to lift his little head from my shoulder and made the loudest farting noise with his mouth on my arm! He did it twice and then laid his little head back down on my shoulder. Ha!

Jay and I laughed for the rest of the night about it. No matter how sick, how tired or how late, our little Cruz mustered up enough strength to make farting noises on my arm. He definitely is a boy to the core!

And I’m happy to report, Cruz was completely better by morning!


27 Jul

We needed a vacation. It’s as simple as that.

Jason and I had been trying to save money for this trip that my family has been planning to Disneyland for about a year. With a baby on the way when we started saving, it was a lengthy process, but we thought for sure we’d have enough to get us through the gates.

In June, my car broke down and we had several unexpected large expenses come through that required us to use that vacation savings on other important things. We were pretty bummed that we weren’t going to be able to go with my family to California in July. Jason and I knew that we would have to sit this one out.

My family saw that we really needed a vacation. It’s been an amazing and difficult year in a lot of aspects, at least financially. They saw the need and each of them, in their own way, pulled together money and resources- enough to help get us to Disneyland with them!

We were in California for 6 days and it was the break we needed. I am so thankful for a family that loves us that much- they all did everything they each could do to have us on vacation with them. It was wonderful. I thought I’d post some of the highlights of the trip along with pictures! There’s a lot so I hope you’re comfortable! Ha!

We left for California Monday morning. This is Mr. Cruz getting ready to go in his big boy car seat. We weren’t sure how he’d like his car seat, but he did ok!

Cruz in Carseat

We stayed at my Aunt Bev’s house– this is the same house that I grew up visiting. It’s so much fun to bring Cruz there now and to think that he’s going to make memories there too! I posted a couple pictures earlier in the week of Cruz sitting on the front lawn. I had fun doing a mini photo shoot with my Aunt Bev and my two cousins Julie and Jim. Here’s a few pictures from our mini photo shoot:


CousinsAuntie BevCousinsOn Tuesday we left the house after Cruz had his morning nap to head towards the beach! It’s been a recent tradition of ours to eat at Fred’s whenever we go. Jason and I love their mexican food and it over looks the ocean! We try to sit on the patio so we can see the water and the beach. Huntington Beach was pretty busy for a Tuesday, but it was great to sit, relax, and eat with family. Cruz loves the California weather- I mean, who doesn’t really?

Fred's SignFreds with DaddyFred's and CruzJuls & Bev

On Wednesday, we got up and headed to take Cruz to the LA Zoo! It was about 45 minutes away from my aunts house so Cruz napped in the car on the way there. It was very hot on Wednesday, but we still made it through the entire thing. Cruz loved looking at all the animals! It was so fun to watch him experience seeing these live animals for the first time. I know he won’t remember much, but it’s still fun to show him new things.

Cruz Zoo 1Cruz Zoo 2Cruz Zoo 3

This was Cruz at lunch trying french fries for the first time. Ha! He doesn’t like “adult” food very much and I can’t seem to get him to eat anything other than baby food. *sigh*

Cruz Zoo 4

He loved the monkey exhibit. The monkey’s were talking to each other so loudly while we were there- Cruz didn’t do much but just stare at them. It was fun to watch them swing from branch to branch!

Cruz Zoo 5Cruz Zoo 6

We stopped to cool off and take a break after the monkeys and Cruz was so smiley and laughed so much. He was so happy- well, he’s always happy usually. But it was so fun to see him enjoying the zoo!

Cruz Zoo 7

The zoo exhausted Cruz about halfway through! So Jay and I just walked around and saw the rest of the animals while Cruz napped. It was such a fun day!

Cruz Zoo 8

Thursday was Cruz’s first Disneyland experience!! We got up earlier than normal and headed out to meet my mom, sisters and Cameron at their hotel that they were staying at which was about a block away from Disneyland. We got there, parked and bought shuttle passes for the bus so we could all get into Disneyland together.

Disney 1Disney 6

Yep… We went for it! Grammy bought Cruz his very first pair of Mickey ears! He actually left them on for quite a while!

Disney 5I know- It’s super cute.

Cruz loved Disneyland. When we walked in on Friday, he belly laughed all the way from the entrance gates to the Peter Pan ride in Fantasyland! Jason and I were trying to figure out what he was laughing at!

Disney 3Disney 9I was riding the Tower of Terror when my sister Danielle snapped this picture. Chip came right up to the stroller and was making Cruz laugh so hard. But it happened so fast- you know how those characters are- they move fast! So she was able to catch this picture, which I just love!

IMG_1598Cruz loved riding the carousel too! It was also so great to have so many family members around to help us with the little man while we were there!

We managed to take Cruz on a few rides, although I didn’t get a lot of pictures while riding. Simply because I was taking video of him- especially on ‘It’s a Small World’. He LOVED it.

He also loved the Peter Pan ride, Pirates of the Caribbean, the carousel, Mickey Mouse’s house (not a ride, but he loved it) and California Screamin… Just kidding. Ha! We didn’t take him on anything with a height requirement, but he was able to enjoy quite a few things!

Disney 10Disney 12Disney 11Disney 4It was just so great to get away for a week. I don’t remember the last time we took a trip that was simply for us and allowed us to relax. We were so appreciative to everyone who helped get us there. Cruz loved every second of it and these are just a few of the pictures that were taken during our week out there!

We love California so much. It’s always the best when you can sneak away and be with family for a little bit. We were all exhausted after the trip though.

We’re seriously thinking about taking a vacation from our vacation.

Disney 8

aunt bev’s house

21 Jul


This is one of my favorite places in the entire world.

I grew up coming to this house, visiting family here, making up dances in the living room, sleeping on the floor in sleeping bags. There are a lot of memories here at this house and I love it. I had to snap a picture of Cruz sitting on the same lawn that I used to play on when I was a kid.

This is my Aunt Bev’s house. She lives here with my Uncle Jeff and cousins Julie and Jim. Like I said, we grew up visiting here. Julie and I have a lot of funny memories here. We love reminiscing about the ridiculous things we did and how we thought we were so cool.

I love it. I love them.

I had to do a quick photo shoot of Julie & Cruz. Playing in the front yard was something we always did. Someday Cruz & Julie’s kids (when they come) will do the same! We had fun snapping these pictures in the front yard.

We got here yesterday. It seems to take longer when you drive with a baby. I know you have to stop more, but we don’t stop that much more. Hmm. Weird.

We love visiting California, like most people. It’s significantly cooler here, there’s a beach, Disneyland, family.

We love it.


the zoo

17 Jul


I think the best gift I received for my birthday last week was an annual pass to The Phoenix Zoo! My family gave it to me and thought this would be great for me and Jason to do as a family with Cruz (once it cools off of course!), especially since he loves animals.

I think they also felt bad that we were taking him to Pets Mart on a regular basis for cheap entertainment. Hey, it’s free and they have animals! Ha!

So now we are able to take him to the zoo whenever we want! This would have been enough for me, but that’s not all! With the membership comes a lengthy list of zoos and aquariums that you can go to for free or discounted prices- all over the country!!

We are heading to California next week for our annual family trip with my family. We are spending the week at my Aunt Bev’s house. My mom, sisters and Cameron are all going to be in Disneyland all week long- but we are trying to save our pennies so we are going to Disneyland for 2 days only. Originally, we just thought we would hang in Cali, relax, head to the beach- and that is still the plan. But we are also going to try to hit up a couple zoos in the area and take Cruz for free!!

It’s the birthday gift that keeps on giving. I am so excited because Cruz is going to love it. This is going to be such a fun trip for him.

Then I got news that my cousin Julie is going to come visit- she has never met Cruz yet and I am SO excited that she’s going to spend some time with us while we are there.

Family, Fred’s, the zoo, Disneyland. All in one week?

Yes please!