Mini Trip to Carmel

A while ago, I photographed the sweetest group of girls at Disneyland for their senior photos. We’ve stayed in touch through social media, and when their mom contacted me about senior pics for her youngest daughter, I jumped at the chance. “But it will be in Carmel!?!” she said. Always being up for an adventure- I responded with, “Even better!” And a work vacation was born.

On the way up to Carmel, we stopped in Cambria to pick up Nana, and then traveled to Carmel where we had never visited before. It was a beautiful city, and I hope to see it again someday.

On the first day, we went to Monteray Bay Aquarium. These dogs were having a meetup, there were so many of this breed hanging around! I wish I remembered what kind! 

Do you ever experience something when you were young and remember it as being way better than it actually was? I have this vivid memory of a ride at Knotts Berry Farm, where you have to push the car to make it work, and in my mind it went on and on for miles. Later in my adulthood, I went back and discovered it was just a little circle we went around. My memory was so different! I was worried I’d have that experience with Monteray bay Aquarium because it had been so long since I’d been there, but it was just as amazing as I had remembered it. It was even better, actually-and we had such a fun day. Little T loved it. He liked the open sea feeding and the Penguins the best.  

I’ve decided swimming around in an aquarium tank is my dream job.

When we were done, we found the best little Thai restaurant I’ve ever been to for lunch, and they served Theo’s pineapple fried rice in a pineapple. At night, we went with our host family to Benihanas for dinner, and then went to watch these little raccoons that lived in the rocks near the restaurant. Little T stayed out way past his bedtime, which was all a part of the excitement for him. He also talked the girl’s ears off at dinner and they said he mentioned the word samurai at least 200 times. He had such a wonderful time.

The next morning, we had a great time exploring and taking senior pics. Little T might have even snuck into a photo or two…..or three. 😉


We stopped for lunch at a nice little restaurant that had a cozy couch in front of a fireplace, and a giant tv that was playing the Broncos/Steelers game. I decided I could live there forever.

During lunch, Little T continued to enjoy all the attention he was getting from the ladies. He loves people so much, such a cutie pie.

That evening, we sadly said our goodbyes, and began the road trip on the 1 back to Cambria. The road was beautiful and it was great seeing Bug Sur, but we didn’t realize how horrifically frightening that road was after dark. We are happy to be alive after dealing with fog, rain, darkness, and windy cliff roads with no road reflectors. Thankfully, I couldn’t see the cliffs because of the fog, because it might have done me in. Big T could see out of his window, and was silently having panic attacks from the passenger seat. O_O We were so glad when we made it home safely.

The next day, we got up early to make our way home from Cambria, but the car wouldn’t start. What started out as a frustrating thing, turned out to be awesome because Little T was in heaven visiting with the mechanic. He even got to hold his tools and “help” him with the car. Little T talked about the mechanic for half the ride home, he really made an impression on him. So much, that Little T asked the mechanic what his favorite transformer was, and promised to give it to him for Christmas. :p

Since we were stuck for a bit, we went to the Cambria Roasting Company and visited their roasting room. The lady working there explained everything to little T from start to finish, and when little T left he shouted, “I learned something today!” Heehee

   The finished product. :p

 The ride home was gorgeous, and we stopped to take a few photos. Sometimes I can’t believe how beautiful this planet is, it takes my breath away.  

And now we’re home, and it’s back to editing and preparing for the week, and thinking about what a nice time we had.  We’re sad it’s over, but alway thankful that it happened at all. 🙂


Farewell, Brutus

A few years ago on an ordinary day, we came home and opened the door of our house, to discover that a white and friendly cat had decided to move in. He was sprawled out on our couch with his belly facing towards the ceiling, resting and looking like he belonged there, and so he did. We eventually started calling him Brutus.

This is kind of a weird story to tell-so please forgive me, but Brutus decided to make things official one day when Little T was having a tough time. I took Little T into his bedroom and started rocking him and singing, “Baby Mine”. It was one of those beautiful moments in parenthood where you’ll never quite forget how wonderful it feels to be able to soothe and comfort another little person with nothing but yourself. Brutus agreed, and towards the end of the song, took it upon himself to mark his territory all over us. At the time, we were horrified and upset and had to sanitize everything, including ourselves-but now I look back at that moment in time and realize that it was the moment when Brutus decided we were his family, even if he was kicked out of the house for a little while. 😉

Brutus was the most relaxed cat I’ve ever seen. He didn’t even mind when Little T would run around the house like a crazy person. No matter what was going on, Brutus was just content to be there.
The life of a photographer can be a little lonely. When you aren’t shooting, you’re spending days staring at a computer screen with nobody else around. I can’t concentrate with music or the t.v. on, so these days seem even lonelier to me because it’s always so quiet in my house. Once Brutus learned the restroom rules and was allowed back in, he sat next to me every day. His spot was right next to my legs where I’d sit criss-cross and stare at a computer screen for hours on end. I’d often find myself talking to him, absentmindedly reaching down to give him a pet, and getting him cat nip when I’d get a little bored or lonely. It’s like the song in My Fair Lady, I grew accustomed to his face. It’s going to be a long time before I stop reaching down, expecting him to be there.

While Brutus spent most of his time here, he was known to everyone in our neighborhood. He’d get breakfast here, then go across the street for second breakfast, then head to the corner for thirds. At a block party one night, we all sat around and told stories about Brutus, or “that white cat”, as everyone fondly called him.

When we’d leave the house, Brutus would leave too. We told Little T that Brutus was going off to have an adventure. When our car would pull into the driveway, we’d always see Brutus running home. Little T would say, “Mommy, Brutus goes on adventures, but he always comes back.”

The other day, Brutus didn’t come back after his adventure. We aren’t sure if a coyote found him, or if he was taken by one of the college kids who parks on our street to save parking money, or if he was sick and didn’t make it. He’s never disappeared for a day or a meal, so we knew something was wrong.

Every day when we drive home and he doesn’t come running towards the house, my heart sinks a little. Seeing Brutus rush home when we arrived was one of those little things I took for granted and didn’t realize made me happy until it was gone.

I might never know what happened to Brutus, but I do know, that our house feels empty without him here. We miss him so very much. Little T and I like to think he’s off on the ultimate adventure. One that involves pirates and wizards and castles in the sky. I know this doesn’t make sense to write it here, but I feel like I have to say it…I just wanted to say thank you Brutus, for bringing so much joy and love to our family over the past few years. I hope we brought love and happiness into your life as well, my furry friend. ❤


Summer Adventures Part 2

After I returned from San Francisco from my mini-trip, we made the drive to June Lake. It’s always a great trip for us because we found out we were going to be Little T’s parents when we were hiking in Rainbow Falls. 🙂 Little T actually does really well on long car rides. To make the 6+ hour trip easier, I went to the dollar section at Michaels and put a little treat in a brown bag. Every hour that he was good, he got a bag with the treat in it. Big T and I tried to plan the bags out so the treats were timed well with the trip. We had a glow necklace for when it would be dark, a bouncy ball around the time we went to the park, etc. We also downloaded books on tape, got some coloring scratch pads (perfect for him because he has trouble holding a crayon and coloring), and pre-planned a few car games. For part of the trip, I sat in the back with Little T. It was so smooth, it was one of his favorite things about the vacation. 🙂

One of the places we always stop is Schat’s Bakery to pick up Monkey Bread. Yum!

  On the first day there, we decided to see if Little T would be up for a hike. He did really well until the very end, and then Big T and I had to take turns carrying him on our back. Little T loved pretending he was an American Indian on the hiking trail and was picking out sticks for a bow and arrow. We tried to tell him that he should use a quieter voice to be an American Indian, but I think that concept may have been lost on him, haha.

The next day, Big T and I hiked together. I was so proud of myself, it’s the biggest hike I’ve ever done, and it was beautiful.

The coolest part of the hike was when we came across an old mine cart system with some of the mine carts there, it was used to bring supplies to the miners.

The next day, we went to Bodie, they were having a festival and it was fun seeing everyone dressed up. They had a lot of horses and mules walking around, Little T was nervous but he warned up quickly. 🙂

Little T took this pic, heehee. Not my favorite angle, little T!

 It was a fun trip, and it always feels a little too short. 🙂 Until next year, June Lake!

When we got back home, I had the D23 conference. I had the best time seeing familiar faces and taking pictures. I even got to take a few for myself this time. 🙂

I also photographed a gorgeous wedding!  

And then took photos for a former bride that beat cancer, that wound up on EOnline, so happy for her!

That was our summer, we had a great time and got to spend much needed time with family. ❤

Up next Little T’s bday party 🙂

Summer Adventures

Its been a busy summer over here, and the older I get the faster it seems to fly by. 🙂 Here’s a quick summary of our summer adventures!

Little T graduated Preschool! We loved his preschool and teachers so much, we weren’t ready for him to go! We’re going to miss them all over there. 🙂 I had to smile because little T picked out the decals for his graduation sash, and he insisted on covering it with American Flags and basketballs. You’re an all American kid, Little T!

After graduation, we had a mini vacation at the Disneyland hotel, I was staying there for work and usually the two T’a are the only ones who get to enjoy the hotel pool, but I made sure to find time to have some play time with my little guy. 🙂

Little T and his cousin R had a big two-week summer trip to their grandparents where they took swimming lessons and pretty much got spoiled rotten. I missed him terribly, but Little T on the other hand was making arrangements to move in. 😉

One of the great things about this summer, was that Little T began spending time with his daycare friends. He’s so sweet, his mind was blown the first time he saw his friends outside of daycare!

Although I’m not sure who is having more fun, Little T or Big T.

We also had our big family trip to Cayucos. This year was great because Little T was able to spend time with both sets of grandparents, since Big T’s family has moved out there it was a Grandparentpalooza!

After Cayucus, I went on a mini adventure for work to San Francisco, and I totally survived! I got to photograph a private event with Chef Morimoto, who was so nice and fun, and also an excellent singer. Who knew?

I think I’ve reached my blog photo limit, so part two of summer will be coming up next. 🙂

Little T’s First Day of Kindergarten

I have to be honest, the kindergarten-feelings surprised me. I had no idea how emotional and nervous I would be to send my baby off into the world for the first time. I was doing great until the day before, but then I had to start shopping for school supplies because I didn’t have any time earlier, and things began to feel very real and I got this sad feeling in the pit of my stomach.

The next day, Little T was excited because it was a new adventure for him. I thought-hey, I’m glad one of us is taking this well.

 We parked far away from school and walked, because I love taking walks with my little man and I thought it would be a fun routine for us. He was telling me about the smells, the sounds, and he was noticing everything new. He said school smelled like a carrot patch, haha.

When he got to class, he had this feeling of independence about him. The teacher excused them one by one to go sit with their parents, and at first he wanted to stay with the kids. I was glad that he wanted to be with his new friends, but a little sad too-in the way that tiny moments of independence are gentle reminders that someday they aren’t going to need you the way they need you now.

We went through the centers together, and Little T especially loved hearing the rules. I suspect it’s so he can make sure his friends follow them, lol. 😉 At ten, they excused the parents to go to the cafeteria for a BooHoo breakfast. I went to say goodbye to Little T, thinking I needed to hold it together because he was being tough and independent and I needed to let him be that way. When I gave him a hug and said goodbye, he grabbed onto me as hard as he could and began to cry. I was surprised at how intense he needed me all of the sudden. I told him that I loved him and that he was going to have a great day, and that I’d see him soon. He grabbed onto my legs as I began to walk towards the door, and I had to take his hands off my legs and make an exit. I saw the teacher give him a stuffed animal to hold, and I knew he was in good hands.

It was stressful to leave him, but I think it is nice to also have a gentle reminder-or maybe a not so gentle reminder-that they still need you, too.

After class, he said that kindergarten was hard because he had to sit still and his body felt squirmy, but he said he loved his teacher and that she was his new best friend, so he’s in good hands.

The next day was easier. He came home telling me all about it and couldn’t wait to go back. Today was harder because we had to drop him off at the front gate and couldn’t walk them to class. I said a quick goodbye and made an exit before he could turn around, and I ducked into the office. I saw him turn around and not see me there. It broke my heart and I had to fight the urge to run back out there.

All of the parents stood at the kindergarten gate and watched to make sure their kids made it over (heehee). I saw Little T wandering around the playground looking lost, and it was hard to see him struggle and not be able to run over and help him fit in. But then his friends from daycare arrived, and the ran towards each other and gave a giant five person hug. It made all the parents cry. I’m so glad they have each other to get through this transition and comfort each other.

But overall he is doing well, I didn’t expect to be so sad about it and have it tug at my heartstrings the way it has. I know the days will get easier as the weeks go by. One day, Big T and I will laugh about how torn up we were when Little T started kindergarten. 🙂

Wedding season 

We’ve had a lot of changes over here that have made things really busy in our neck of the woods. 

A few of the people who helped me with my business moved on to bigger and better things, which had led me to meet some great people I never would have expected to meet (yay Amanda)! It had made things a little crazy during the transition, but it’s been interesting experiencing the ups and downs of a small business owner. 
Little T graduated preschool. 🙂 I put together the slideshow and watched it a million times, and I STILL cried when they played it for everyone in the auditorium. I feel like these days go by so fast. I wish I could just press the pause button and keep little T little for just a little while longer. He insists that he has to get bigger though, because hello…, mom! 😉



Little at is starting kindergarten next year, and I had no idea how stressful this was on the parental side of things. I think my big hope is that more than anything, he will love going to school. We met one of the teachers over there and he told me he was nervous to meet her, wasn’t he relieved when she turned out to be exactly what you’d expect a kindergarten teacher to be. Kind and warm and lovable. 🙂 

Other things: 

My two T’s hanging out in Downtown Disney:

Pool time!


Finally being brave enough for a pony ride!  


Does my hair really look like this from the back?


Huntington Gardens 🙂

  Mothers Day Hugs!

  And a Magic Castle adventure. 😉

  And those have been the big things! Wish I had more time to share the sweet little ones. 🙂

Hope you’re all doing well!


Things I Dont Want to Forget

Little T was so cute yesterday. He was distressed because he couldn’t remember Easter from last year. “Why don’t I remember!?!?” He kept asking. It reminds me of how busy life is, how much stuff happens, how easy it is to forget those little things. So here’s my list. 🙂

  1. Little T’s favorite foods right now are Japanese Fried Rice from Trader Joe’s and bowls and bowls of peas. He likes to sneak peas from our plate when we aren’t looking, little stinker. He also loves any kind of rice based meal. Our go-to is rice with lemon juice, braggs, and avocado. He hates carrots with a passion, and most breads, which I absolutely do not understand, lol. He also will not touch pizza. Go figure.
  2. His favorite shows are the Mickey Mouse Club and Sherriff Callie.
  3. His favorite movie is Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, and I think I may have this movie memorized. It’s so funny to me how he loves these really old movies like Chitty and Babes in Toyland.
  4. His favorite music to listen to is the Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Soundtrack, the Pirates of the Carribean soundtrack, and the Chipotle music that plays inside Chipotle. He also loves the Beatles.
  5. He loves to play Legos with his dad, play basketball, and go on runs around the block.
  6. With me, he loves it when I make up stories while we walk to Cal Poly together. He gets upset if I don’t hold his hand for any reason at all, I’m kind of okay with that. 🙂
  7. He has a cute sense of humor and is starting to tell jokes. He loves to do these GQ poses in front of the camera and I have no idea where he got that from. He wants everyone to come to his birthday party and talks about this party daily, even though it’s months away and we have no idea what we’re actually doing yet.
  8. His favorite place in the world is still Disneyland. If he could, he’d be there every single day. 🙂 His favorite rides are Thunder Mountain and Space Mountain.
  9. He is always asking about his grandparents, and wants to know when they are going to stay with us or when he will see them again. I suspect they might all be spoiling him. :p
  10. He isn’t a morning person.
  11. He loves candy more than I’ve ever known a kid to love candy, and is always trying to trick us into giving him candy. It never works but he tries his hardest anyway. :p He loves us to pretend to be the candy man in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, and then capture him by tricking him with free candy.
  12. He loves cars, any kind of cars. Also planes, trains, construction vehicles, and anything with wheels.
  13. He knows of superheroes from daycare, but doesn’t really know what superheroes are yet, so he’s starting to ask lots of questions about them in the boys clothing section at target, because I think every single shirt there has some superhero on it, lol.
  14. He really wants a brother, but not a baby, so basically just a playmate, haha.
  15. His favorite books right now are, “If you Give a Mouse a Cookie”, any poems by Shell Silverstein (but especially the ones about the man whose jaw gets stuck from eating a peanut butter sandwich), “I Was So Mad”, and the Dav Pilkey Dragon Series. He also loves fairytales like Jack in the Beanstalk and the Three Billy Goats Gruff. 🙂
  16. He loves plays and musicals of any kind.

And I think that’s about everything, I’m going to miss these days, he’s so adorable and I love his thoughts and how he articulates them and how much he loves to cuddle with me. I can’t believe he’s starting kindergarten next year, he is getting so big! 🙂

New Years


, , ,

We were so happy this year to spend New Years with my step sister’s family. It really was the best way to begin the year, and Little T had such a great time.

We’d originally planned to get rose float tickets and see the floats on New Year’s Eve, but we didn’t get them in time and decided to go to the Kidspace Museum instead. They had a really fun New Years party and passed out sparkling apple cider, and even had a balloon drop at the end. The bonus? On the way there we got to see the rose floats that we’re sitting along the street. We even saw Cal Poly’s!


Waiting for the balloon drop!




Picnic at the top of the tunnel.



Laugh attack!


Little T is Cal Poly’s biggest fan, and loudest cheerleader. :p



Back at the house, we made the worlds biggest mess, and it was awesome. Big T made pizzas for everyone.Big T always begins to talk in an Italian accent when he makes pizzas, it’s the strangest thing. We also did plays, had a band, and played with balloons.




Grumpy Cat was not impressed with the New Years shenanigans.


Love this mess. ❤


The next day, we went to Disneyland first thing in the morning. We saw the frozen fun area and had a great time going down the sled. We laughed when Big T was the only person singing in the frozen singalong, and he was singing loud! It was kind of adorable. It was the best day, and we had such a great time spending it together.




Mrs. Claus!




So that was New Years! Definitely not what our New Years would have looked like pre-children, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Holidays….seems so long ago….

I would just like to say that this was the first holiday in three years where we didn’t have the flu (flu shots everyone!) This was also the first year I haven’t had a lot of work to do, so I really was able to enjoy everything. And for all of that, I am thankful! We traveled up to the Central Valley for Christmas, and every day was filled with something! Here’s kind of a hodgepodge of what we were up to.

Little T got to check out great grandpa’s model ships. He was so excited about them and wanted to show everyone in the house. He would have us close our eyes and then lead us to the ships in the room and shout, “surprise!!!!!!”


These guys! ❤


Nana made the most amazing food for us, below is roasted cauliflower. Get that cauliflower, Nana!



Next we traveled to the Central Valley, I always begin this trip thinking we have so much time, but then every second gets filled, how does that happen? One of our favorite things to do is see the holiday lights at the zoo!

Me and my momma ❤


Zoo lights!



We also had a great play date with the cousins, stopped at Piemontes for sandwiches, and caught a basketball game.

Super Aunt!



Little T was a great cheerleader, even though he sometimes would cheer for the wrong team, whoops! He just wanted everyone to win! :p



Miss Piggy in the Christmas spirit :


A lot of family excitement this year was focused on this puzzle. I actually did the entire thing myself….kidding! Everyone was so excited about it, that we made rules about only being able to work on it when everyone was there (heehee) and got very competitive about who was working on what part. Puzzles=serious business!


Aunt D already working on Puzzle #2, because when you finish 1 puzzle another must be started….


We also played Ticket To Ride. Big T and my marriage only nearly ended once during the couse of the game, so all in all….success! (I blame Aunt D)


Somebody knows the way to my heart is through homemade salsa…..


Little T, channeling that inner cowboy spirit.


Getting schooled in dominoes by Uncle P.


Little T and Great Grandpa D. 🙂


After my mom’s house, we got to spend time with my Dad’s side of the family. We had a great time, but my phone died! It’s probably for the best because we had a Chipotle bar going on and the only photos that would have been taken were of chips and guacamole. We also got to see the Hobbit with my Dad, which was a rare treat to be able to go to the movies. 🙂

And a little more randomness: hanging out in a basket:


Little T and my favorite Christmas gift, Grumpy Cat!


Christmas was great, up next…..New Years!

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas….

I think this year has been the most Christmassy year of all time for me, even though (confession) I haven’t had time to buy a single gift yet (ack!) For the first year ever, I’ve had to photograph a lot of corporate holiday parties, and so everything has been Christmas, Christmas, Christmas!!! It’s been nothing short of amazing. 🙂 I’ll post a few pics here so you can get the idea….but first-

We took a quick trip to the Discovery Center because Little T has been on a train kick lately and they’re having a Thomas display. It was a little too crowded for us though, so we made a family introverted break for the insects and gingerbread houses instead. 😉



We had lunch at Mead’s Green Door Cafe before heading home. The whole family gave Mead’s a thumbs up. Little T loved the quinoa chili, and I had a great salad.




I think during one exciting bachelorette party, I may have signed up for a wine club. I forgot I did this until more wine than I’ll ever drink in my life showed up at my doorstep…whoops?


On days when we don’t go out, Little T and I like to take little walks and search for sticks! The ultimate activity. 🙂


I had a few lovely Holiday engagement sessions during the week. So much fun!



And we had the trendsetters holiday party! I told Tara from Fairytale Hair and Makeup to do my hair like this:


Just kidding, I got Elsa hair! Tara did my hair and Cole did my makeup, which was fun because I always watch Cole do bride’s makeup, so it was nice to have a turn. She looked at me with excitement and said……”can I do whatever I want?” So I gave Cole permission to do whatever she wanted to my face, lol. The end result:


It was fun getting ready with everyone!



Michelle got ready first, and then looked super glamorous while she answered emails.


Trendsetters had a beautiful champagne bar, my favorite was the lavender/pear champagne. 🙂




Louise was a little overwhelmed by the choices. :p



I got to see Alan’s shoes! He won trendsetter of the year, so proud of him!


A few more pics, what a lovely night. The Disney crew won best new idea for their cake mapping, so we had to celebrate! 🙂


Dancing the night away!



At the end of the night, Louise surprised me with a vegan Sprinkles cupcake. That’s why I keep you around, Louise! 😉

Pheo the elf was feeling inspired the next morning. He was up to all sorts of trouble.


And I can’t show most of the holiday parties I’ve had to photograph, but here is a pic that I can show from one of my favorites. A beautiful holiday party at Kellogg House. So lovely, and there was an amazing choir that sang Christmas songs that put everyone in the holiday spirit.


This is me taking an iphone video while I was taking photos, haha.

The next day we drove to Apple Valley with Papa G (!!!) to see a Christmas Carol! When we picked Little T up from daycare, he was ecstatic to see my dad. 🙂 We were hoping for snow, but it only snowed a little. We sang Christmas carols all night, interacted with Tiny Tim and Scrooge, and learned some fun new dances! What a wonderful experience.




We stayed at Serendipity Bed and Breakfast, and as always, we had a lovely time exploring, and Nina made the best breakfast.





Little T has been coming to see Nina since he was a little baby! 🙂



During the trip, my step sister confessed to me that if our family got the rest of the family sick for the third year in a row, we just might be shunned from Christmas for the rest of our lives. The pressure is on. 0_0 :p

When we got home, we had a last minute game night, because our house looked so pretty and Christmassy. 🙂

Miss Piggy was even in the holiday spirit with some new duds!


Big T said that unfortunately, the new duds did nothing for Miss Piggy’s breath.


We love you anyway, Miss Piggy!


We played our favorite new/old game: Funny Bones!







The winners!


And then I had one more holiday party to attend. These were my two favorite Christmas sweaters…perhaps of all time.


When I got home, Little T heard me come in and asked me to come to his room, so I showed him the new trick I learned at the holiday party with the dubsmash app. 😉

And that’s been our week! So much, I can’t believe we’ve made it through. And now it’s time for some serious holiday prep. 🙂

I hope you’ve all had a great week, and that you’re more ready for Christmas than I am!