California II.

A day in Ensenada and a day at sea. Being in Ensenada brought back memories of my childhood. Though I didn’t grow up in Mexico, the food and candy reminded me of days at the swap meet with my parents, and visiting both sides of grandparents. I bought a couple things and inhaled the tacos, chips + salsa, and strawberry margaritas we had. Here in Alaska there is hardly any good, authentic Mexican restaurants. The second half of the pictures were taken during our day at sea. I for one, am not good at puzzles in the slightest. So I just enjoyed watching my husband and his sister (who both happen to be puzzle geniuses) rediscover their love for puzzles. Around this time I was seriously missing our baby boy. Blogging warm, sunny pictures while sitting at my desk next to my window with a view of frosty trees and a snowy front yard is sure proving to be as therapeutic as I predicted!

Until next time.

Victoria / Justice Pirate - Such truly beautiful photos! I love how you can see your life and what you were doing without saying a word actually. It is nice to see you in an outfit again too! I loved your outfit posts in the past. I can totally see your missing August in your face in these shots too.


โ€œA portrait of my son, once a week, every week, in 2014.โ€

Auggie: This week has been a little more challenging than usual. You are well on your way to cutting your second canine tooth and understandably, you’ve been in more pain which has resulted in more fussiness and clinginess. Not that I mind, because I happen to be loving the extra cuddles. On this day I saw the light hitting you so perfectly as you played on the floor and once you saw what I was doing you started to whine and crawl your way towards me for cuddles as I was snapping. I took this right before it occurred. Maybe I should be surprised that you’re cutting canines (and I’m pretty sure your molars are about to cut through, too) before your top teeth but in the 18 months you’ve been with us, I’ve discovered you prefer to do things your own way and at your own pace.

Anne Louise Love - He’s so gorgeous Jen. And that hair is totally amazing! Beautiful captures of your beautiful boy x

Veronica Rafael - gorgeous

Elena - Love everything about this! The lighting is fantastic! My youngest is teething too…but with her first tooth…hang in there mama!!! It will get better!!!


Less than 48 hours after we landed in California and greeted family, we were off again. This time on a 4-day cruise to Mexico and stopping in Catalina on the way. As needed as this trip was for Jimmy and I (considering we haven’t been on a getaway since our honeymoon, 4 1/2 years ago) it was so hard to drop Auggie off and be away from him that long. I cried on and off on the way to the port, but Jimmy held my hand during the car ride and assured me that this trip would be good for us and that we deserved some much needed baby-free relaxation. He was right. We enjoyed the cruise with Jimmy’s sister Jacky and her husband BJ who’s room was just a few doors down from ours. As a born and raised Californian, I’m one of the few people that has never set foot in Catalina. We got some coffee, salt water taffy, and rented a golf cart for the day to ride around the town and up the hills and scenic areas. I had also never been on a cruise before so this trip was quite new for me. Taking a tour around the ship, I found my favorite spot (besides the outdoor decks) right away. The library. Jimmy said it looked like the library from Beauty and the Beast, I thought Harry Potter. While Jimmy and BJ worked out every night, Jacky and I would go to the library with coffee/hot cocoa and read or do puzzles. Such a great trip! And thus ends the first of quite a few California posts. Enjoy and bare with me, as editing/posting these helps me deal with homesickness ๐Ÿ™‚

Charity - so lovely!

April - Your photos are stunning! It looks like you had a great trip – I’ve always wanted to go on a cruise. I can’t wait to see the rest of the photos!
Have a lovely week!

Linda Marga - Jen – you totally captured Catalina!! Beautiful shots. Thanks for sharing!

Jennifer Stark - HEY! This is only Part 1 of many….. but these are really pretty photos!


โ€œA portrait of my son, once a week, every week, in 2014.โ€

Auggie: Self-feeding has been probably one of your biggest challenges in terms of development and milestones. But these past few months you’ve been doing so great. I’ve loved watching your eyebrows furrow when you stared down at a piece of food in your hand and weren’t sure about it. The way your fingers straighten out as you bring the food to your mouth and the disappointment when sometimes you straightened out your hand too soon and the food fell back onto your tray. I would be lying if I said meal times weren’t frustrating for me, too. But every single piece of food I’ve picked up off the floor and your tray, every swipe of a napkin across your mouth (this mama needs to get better at accepting that toddlers eating meals= messy) has been well worth it. You can’t speak yet, but somehow I know that when you smiled and clapped along with me after finishing a meal, it was a smile of accomplishment.

Tanya King - Love these photos.So wonderful to cherish every milestone.

Sharon Mahurin Rivera - Love him. He’s so cute!!

Victoria / Justice Pirate - Oh yes, toddlers are very messy eaters. Sometimes my nearly 7 year old is too! I am pretty sure that is something teen boys do as well! haha.
That is so wonderful about his self-feeding milestone!!! You go Mom!! Love these photos.

Elena - What a precious little guy!!!! Being a mama is so hard and so rewarding at the same time…. I know I find myself taking a breathe and reminding myself just how little time I will have with them as little as they are…it is not always fun but, you’re right, it is so worth it!


โ€œA portrait of my son, once a week, every week, in 2014.โ€

Auggie: You’ve had this rocking chair for quite some time now. A very close friend took the time to stain it and make it shine extra. When she gifted it to me you were still growing in my belly at 30 weeks. It’s been sitting in your nursery making a pretty little decor piece and until this week, you had never ridden it. Most toddlers your age would have started playing with it much sooner. But I suppose I waited so long because I wasn’t sure you’d understand or be able to sway back and forth on your own. Well, it turns out I’ve underestimated you completely. I picked you up from your crib post nap, tried and failed to smooth your bedhead and the tufts of hair that stick out from the back of your head (in the same exact spot that your father gets them after he sleeps) and set you on the horse. Right away you grabbed the handles and began to lean backwards. The mama bear in me instinctively reacted and I stuck my hand out behind you. But you didn’t fall. Your big toes began to curl downward, much like they always do when you are focused on something, and you leaned to and fro. With each lean came giggles and squeals of excitement that grew louder and louder. I smiled, let go and stopped reaching out behind you. I suppose I’ll have to get used to doing that.

Erica - Beautiful post, and stunning photos, I especially love the first one- the effort, the toes, the hair, all of it1

Hannah Grace Kessie - your posts always bring me happy tears. Love seeing photos of your little boy.

Caitlin Snyder - So beautifully written!

Dorothy Hynes - I am so amazed,but you know God will take care.

Penny Swanson - <3 love following Auggie's journey in life. I love how his big toe curls under. You are doing such a wonderful job raising him mom...keep it up.

Amanda Guidry - <3 Your words brought tears to my eyes

sybianna - he’s so beautiful.

Victoria / Justice Pirate - What a cool rocking horse. He is so cute on it too!!!

Samantha Findlay - I love these action shots! He looks like he is having a fab time! Its a beautiful rocking horse x