adam & kenzie.

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I never got a chance to post these beautiful photos from Adam and Kenzie's wedding in July. They were taken by Travis Richardson, and I thought they were perfect for these two. So happy and romantic.

I have enjoyed watching this duo loving the married life the past couple of months. I remember a lot of people telling me "Oh, the first year is so hard." And so, I was pleasantly surprised that our first year of marriage was more fun and happy than I ever could have imagined. I remember thinking that being married was the best if this was the hardest year! I don't know who made up that rumor, because your first year of marriage really is one big party. And, I am so happy that Adam and Kenz are living it up!

We love you two, and wish you the best!


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I think some of my favorite pictures are, "Angry Eliza Pictures While Sitting In High Chair." This, right here, was a phase that Eliza was going through about a month ago. The crayon obsession.

Eliza loves eating crayons. Not just a nibble hear or there. But, large chunks that she ingests, which show up in her diapers the next day. Colorful poop. 

Crunch, crunch, chomp, chomp.

For awhile she was really into coloring with crayons. It was the only way I could attempt to get anything done around the house. I would put her in her high chair, tape a piece of paper down on the tray, and give her a bag of crayons. The refrigerator was covered with her art. Until, I realized how much crayon she was actually eating! We would have stern discussions about eating crayons, with warnings that I would take them away. But, those suckers must have tasted pretty dang good because she sure kept it up.

I would be washing my dishes and quietly hear...

crunch, crunch.

"Eliza. Please don't. Take it out of your mouth."

crunch, crunch.

"Eliza! I said, no."

crunch, crunch.


Ever time I turned around, a bigger crayon would be hanging out of the corner of her mouth, like a paper-wrapped cigar. She would crack up when I tried to take them away. And then, once I got them in the bag and put away she would start crying hysterically. I just can't take her seriously with those blue specks of crayon all over her face....



We like to call Eliza our little tinker. She is so funny. She's obsessed with the most random things, but when you watch closely you realize that she's very busy at work. She loves building and rebuilding, taking apart and putting back together. I will give her a pen to play with, and she will spend a good 15 minutes taking the lid on and off. It's fascinating to see how meticulous she can be- delicately turning paper pages, attempting to take her shoes on, trying to buckle a belt, or figuring out a zipper.

I've been trying to cultivate her tinkering, by getting her little Duplo sets or creating obstacles and puzzles for her to take apart and put back together, mostly just of every day objects. She also loves a good challenge, especially if it's neatly packaged. There's nothing more exciting then a shrink-wrapped something, just begging to be opened. It's so fun to see her figure things out, and to watch that big grin spread across her face when she knows she's done it.

I love when she climbs up on her stool and "helps" me cook dinner. She will copy me by moving things around the counter in a specific pattern, putting chopped vegetables into bowls, or pretending to spoon things onto the plate. Then she will go to town shredding up a piece of lettuce, and putting every tiny bit into a cup.

In the kitchen, we also have some hooks where we hang our keys. Pretty much every day (multiple times of day) she walks up to the hooks and demands that I take every key ring down for her. This usually totals around 5 or 6 sets of keys. After walking around the house getting frustrated that she can't hold all of them at once, she sets herself to "unlocking" anything that looks like it could be a lock- screws, bolts, screens. Or especially our credenza which actually has two old "skeleton key" type locks.

My favorite is when she plops herself in front of her bike and attempts to "unlock" the screw on the seat. She will very carefully try each and every key on all six sets, one by one. It's the best...

redwood valley railway.

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A few weeks ago, Kate and I took the babies to take ride on the steam train at the Redwood Valley Railway in Tilden Park. It was just about the cutest thing I've seen. It's a real steam train, just kid size, that winds in and out of the beautiful redwoods. The morning was perfectly overcast, making everything all the more green and lush. 

We were kind of laughing at the kids' reactions to the train. Nolan, who is obsessed with Thomas the Tank Engine, was absolutely terrified of the real-life train. Right when it pulled up, his little body started shaking and his brow stayed furrowed until the train pulled back into the station. It was the saddest thing! Eliza, on the other hand, would not sit on her seat because she insisted on attempting to stand up and face forward to see everything. I had to keep a tight grip on her so she wouldn't leap out of the moving train in excitement.

I totally recommend this place. It's only $3 for a ride, and the kid's t-shirts are adorable. It's about a 10-minute ride, to the point where I was thinking, "Wow, this is pretty long!" The train conductor wears a real hat, and he waves at the kids with grease-stained hands. You can even look inside the shop, where they clean and repair the other engines. It's perfect for kids!

baby girl.


I'm obsessed with this child. I really can't handle it some days. She is beautiful and smart, and she is growing up to be such a strong, little girl. This one is determined to be a big kid this very instant. While I am desperately clinging to every little ounce of baby left in her, she is running in the opposite direction without even so much as a look over her shoulder. 

On Sunday, Eliza demanded to go to nursery. In our church, children have to be at least 18 months before they can attend nursery. This makes ages 12-18 months incredibly exhausting, because they can walk and want to have fun, but they aren't quite emotionally ready to be left in the nursery room. I used to serve in the nursery, and I remember when those new ones would enter. The parents, looking relieved, would pry their children off of their legs and push them into the room, where the child then erupted into tears. Well, on Sunday (at 15 months old) Eliza marched down to the nursery room and banged on the door to be let in. She never even looked back.

She wants to sit on big chairs at the table, walk down the stairs with no hands, and she only wants to color with a ballpoint pen which she surprisingly holds just like an adult. She has gotten really good at walking around in my shoes, and she spends a lot of her time trying to put her clothes on by herself. Lately, she's even showing signs of being ready to potty train- pulling her diaper down by herself, with her little crack showing like the Morton Salt girl.

Eliza has always been physically inclined, and so I was starting to get a little worried when she refused to copy sounds or words, except "Uh, Oh." But, in the past couple of weeks she has learned three new words! I feel like they show her personality very well, right now.

Eliza's new grown-up words:
(Must be spoken in a string, such as "no, no, no, no, no, no!")

1) "No"- My favorite. Yay. But, it's actually quite cute, because she doesn't yell it at me yet. It's a string of sweet little "no"s that she uses when she's very worried or doesn't like something.

2) "Go"- This is what she uses when she wants to get out of the house. She grabs my shoes or my bag and drags them to the front door, where I hear "go, go, go, go, go, go, gooooo!" while she bangs on the door. I mean, it's not like we lay around the house all day. This is like, 9 am and we are still in our pjs.

3) "Baby"- This word is only said in a soft whisper. We got Eliza a baby doll a couple of weeks ago. The second I took her out of the package, she gently reached over and gave her a hug and then the most perfect little kisses. She carries her around the house, and feeds her with a little bottle, all while whispering, "baby, baby, baby, baby..."

I love this girl.

montaña de oro.

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A couple of weeks ago our friends invited us to to stay at a family member's house in Nipomo. Let's see- 8 adults, 4 kids, 3 days, 2 beaches, 1 hike, and goooood food. It was one of the best trips I've been on, because it was so low-key and relaxed. We didn't have to plan anything, because the Bakers had the perfect itinerary, mostly outlined by where we were going to eat. (That's why we are friends.) It was: beach, pizza, beach, tri-tip sandwich, hike, Taco Temple (!) We had warm, sunny days at the beach, and the perfect overcast morning for a hike. We couldn't have planned it any better!

Also, it's so nice traveling with friends when other kids are involved. I don't feel like I have to apologize for every little noise Eliza makes, or for when she hits a wall at 1 o'clock while we are all hanging out the beach- because every other kid is hitting the same wall. Everyone is so supportive and understanding.  And, forget about the kids, we just have the best friends around! We stayed up so late every night talking about the most ridiculous things. Like, when my delirious giggle starts to surface, and Sam is passed out on the floor in the middle of the room. Good times...

On our last morning, we did a mini hike at Montaña de Oro and I finally took a second to pull out the camera. The rocks were unreal, and the water unbelievable. The kids ran around in the gritty sand that stuck to their feet like cake sprinkles. Si would hold Eliza's hand and show her around, while the little ones faces were plastered with the best baby drunk smiles.  If this all looks incredibly magical, it's because it was. If you're tired of looking at pictures of the rocky California coastline, then get outta here! Because I can't get enough of it.


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Kate, Amanda, and I realized that we never got a real picture of the three of these buddies together. So, before everyone moved, we forced them to sit on this log bench at the park. Then, this craziness/cuteness ensued. We got zero perfect photos, but a few dozen perfectly real ones. Eliza was stoked to be surrounded by her boys, Stephen smiled sweetly, and Nolan took off running the second he sat down. Gotta love 'em.

I mean, look at these kids!

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Please allow me to wallow in self-pity again. Another one of my closest friends here in Berkeley, just moved to Salt Lake City a couple of weeks ago. That city. It eats up all of my friends.

Kate basically attacked right when we moved in- deciding that since we were both about to have babies, both just moved from New York, and lived down the street from each other, then we absolutely were going to be friends. And, we are. The best of friends. 

Our babies were only a couple of months apart. I saw Kate pretty much every day, if not twice a day. Our parenting philosophies were pretty similar: these kids are going to drive us crazy if we don't get them out of the house pretty much every hour of the day. We woke up, got ready, went out, came home from naps, and then, "Nolan's up!" or "Eliza's up! Let's meet at the park!" It worked out perfectly. 

Kate is the best person to talk to about pretty much anything, and I'm fairly positive I wouldn't have made it through these first 15 months of Eliza's life without our daily chats. She is one of the most genuine people I know. She is the kind of person that you can be yourself around, because you know that she has no qualms about being 100% herself around you. I love that. 

Speaking of love- Eliza and Nolan have a (sort of) serious marriage pact. If they aren't married by whatever age, they don't really have a choice. Eliza will be ecstatic, but Nolan might have something to say about it. Eliza follows him around everywhere, sometimes very violently forcing hugs and kisses on him. Nolan will groan and squirm and push her away. At the park, Nolan loves to push around all of the plastic cars and trucks and tricycles. Eliza trots along beside him, waiting for a pause in motion, and then plops on the seat. Nolan gives this annoyed look, and then decides it's not worth the fight, and proceeds to push Eliza around the playground all afternoon. That's the makings of a mighty fine relationship. 

Last week we went to the park, and Eliza wandered around by herself, sitting in all the cars, looking sad and confused. It was awful. I'm really going to miss seeing those two grow up together. They are the best friends, and they've been through everything together. That last picture is the perfect illustration.

We are really happy for the Calls, because they are headed toward bigger and brighter things! Good luck, you guys. See you soon!