a holly jolly christmas

yep, more catch up pictures. the holidays are my favorite time of year, so it really can’t be helped.

43a mommy-daddy-berkley sandwich with a twist


attempts at family photos…we are slowly improving…48

bug made so many cookies all by herself and shared them with everyone.  she really loved helping pick out and wrap presents this year too.08762349_original

^ the traditional Christmas morning photo on the stairs39 092387492847_originaloh holidays.  come back soon please.



bug is getting herself a new baby SISTER and she is beyond excited!


101bug told me “it’s really unfortunate for you mom.  now dad will have two little daddy’s girls and you will still have no-one to be your favorite”!  ouch.  i know she loves her daddy a whole lot, but when she gets hurt or upset, she still wants her mommy.

so excited for more bows, dress up, nail painting, and just general girlishness!


the bug puts her spanish lessons to good use

so as i mentioned here, the bug and i went to puerto rico with my family last week and it was a blast!! it was lovely to see all of my family all at once! we got to play card games, get hopelessly lost on back roads in the middle of nowhere, try new food, watch too many movies for a beach vacation, hoard oreos, and much more!

not to mention it was kind of awesome that i could lay on the beach and take a nap, not worrying about the bug since there were 6 other people there to keep an eye on her.


the house that we rented was in a gorgeous private complex and the beach was very quiet and secluded.  it had an awesome little tide pool that was warm and calm and perfect for bug.  there were also lots of little sea creatures to check out [crabs, sea urchins, fish]. 654_original 6

bug was very into her sandcastle building, flipping the bucket over so it didn’t spill, and bossing everyone anyone who would listen around.324_original 8

bug adamantly refused to speak a word of spanish the whole time we were there.  even when i was “conversing” with the little boy sitting next to me on the plane, who only spoke spanish, and tried to ease her into the conversation she wouldn’t.  she just stared at me with that look [ya know, the “girl whatchyou been smokin?!” look].  i also got this same look when i tried to ask “aparcamiento para la publica?”  to the parking lot attendant. and maybe a few other times when i more or less asked one word questions and did a lot of hand gestures…maybe i should join in on those spanish lessons with the bug.

[the correct way to ask would have been “estacionamiento para el público?”. in case you were wondering]

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^ they huddled up like this multiple times over a crab/fish/something…you can tell we’re family.3177

we went to the Cabo Rojo Salt Flats which were really neat! the water was a crazy bright purple color in the morning when we drove by, but when we got back to really check them out in the afternoon they were pink.6543_original 36

^ i wish i would have learned to take panorama photos before this. don’t worry, i have since been informed as to how it works [mind blown]!463549_original

the bug was in auntie and uncle heaven. we have a fun trip to Disneyworld planned for later this summer, but all she can talk about is going back to Indiana to spend a week with the family!!50 53

i might have been in auntie and uncle heaven also!3547_original 63 65111

^ this little guy had the coolest eyes.  they went vertical then horizontal every few seconds!
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^the whole crew56435_original92

^ always so adorable9999_original

we went exploring waterfalls one day, which may have been the highlight of the trip for me! 95


it was really treacherous hiking through the woods, especially in our bare feet or sandals.  we had to have a local guy show us the way to the 2nd waterfall [sidenote: he was awesome and knew all the secrets from the best way to hike it to the best way to jump in].  bug just flat out couldn’t make the hike because of all the climbing and slippery surfaces, so the little monkey clung to my back on the way there and uncle aley’s on the way back. i admit, i felt like a bada** once i carried my not-so-little 6 year old through the woods and then jumped off a waterfall! pat on the back.


^ hey ma! just hanging out in a waterfall, nbd.26895_original 1149994_original 115and i really tried to narrow it down on the sunsets, honestly, but i just couldn’t help myself!  they were all so gorgeous!!

the family comes to town

so most of the crew was in town for the bug’s ballet a few weeks ago and we had a blast running around town with them!  we hit up the Eastern Market and the National mall/museums. now we are prepping for an even longer trip away with the crew. so pumped!!

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^ how adorable! i love checking out all of the artsy stuff at the Eastern Market!

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^ oh shane, i have hope that someday you will get used to having my camera constantly in your face and these looks will cease.


^ adoring every minute with the aunties and uncle (missed ya max)

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when the family was in town a while back, we hit up truckeroo to show them some of the wonderful food trucks DC has to offer.  as you know from multiple other posts, i adore food trucks.  there is just something so mysterious about how they get all that food into that tiny little truck…ok….so i don’t like to think about that too too much, but really they are just so dang good!

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^ we hit up the BBQ Bus and they had these amazing spicy beans. of course little miss was loving every minute with the family and being the life of the party!

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^ he always knows how to make her feel better

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^ pleasant pops.  the pineapple basil tastes just like christmas.  no, but actually like you’re eating an evergreen tree.

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i would so own a food truck… if only i could cook. sigh.

the awesomest mom ever

bug and i had a girls weekend on Mothers Day weekend, where she decided that i was “not just the awesomest mom ever, but way better than that.  what’s the word for it again?!”  i decided on rad, but informed her that “the awesomest mom ever” would do just fine!




we also did a fabulous brunch with a friend at Cassat’s Cafe179108_755206663327_101446000_n375033_755206698257_841483014_n  which was really adorable and had amazing food [and champagne smoothies?!]


we explored an adorable little toy store where bug held a voting contest with random people to determine which beanie boo she should get.  after finally coming to a conclusion (it was so close), we realized there was a $10 minimum for credit cards and she got both!

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 and to top it all off, my mama got to come out here for an impromptu dinner date!

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a day of motherly love

oh where to begin….my mom is the best.  i could just end it there i suppose, but it’s mother’s day, so indulge me.


my mother is one of those people that gives so selflessly. for example, if someone she just met is struggling with something or going through a tough spot, she makes it her problem too and goes out of her way to help, and more importantly let them know she is there for them if they need her. her compassion is astonishing!

she sacrificed so much for her family over the years, and we [speaking for the clan here] are forever grateful for all the wonderful opportunities she provided us! [ps: that dress ^ drooling]SCAN0072

she always encourages us to do what we love, no matter what other people think. [although i do recall her distinct reaction when i tried out for show choir “oh, you made it?!  did you actually have to sing in the audition?!?”]0035479584_original

she taught me to watch “yankee doodle dandy” on the 4th of July; that Franki Valli was just as good as [probably better than] Usher; that i shouldn’t take her word for it, but do some research and validate my own beliefs/thoughts…where i figured out she was actually pretty darn smart!6546512

she’s so brave. there were so many times in her life where she probably wanted to throw in the towel [i would have] and say i quit, but she didn’t.  she jumps into new adventures head first, and is always so enthusiastic and positive about it!


plus she raised us 5 hooligans ^  nuf said.0024654_original

this woman is truly amazing and i am so blessed to call her mother! love you ma!


all of my favorite bloggers did it, so i am doing it.  i mean honestly, it’s just a brilliant idea to highlight some of the important/memorable things from the whole year in one post!  then for someone who hates getting on the computer, but wants to quickly catch up on my life through pictures (ahem..dad) its perfect.  so here goes:

– we celebrated being 5 with some bowling [and spontaneous dancing]


– 2 years of marriage were celebrated here when we kicked off our travels in San Diego [it was too good to just do one post of course] and San Fran driving all up and down the amazing Pacific Coast Highway









– shane worked on three big projects: a medical center, Jewish temple and this beaut:


– bug kept busy with ballet, soccer, swimming and spanish lessons


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– we went on lots of adventures this year, some of our favorites were:

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luray caverns and shenandoah valley hiking


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indiana (as much as possible and of course for the holidays here and here)



new york

– we took full advantage of the perks of living in DC, many, many, many times




– my baby started kindergarten!!! [i may have been slightly traumatized and posted about it here and here]

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– i posted my first blog rant and boy did it feel good!

– hubs and i took an adults only trip to Vieques and Old San Juan [Puerto Rico] and loved every minute of it




– and well so much more happened, but guess what!?  there is a whole blog about it 😉

and now for a massive photo dump of some of my faves:



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Christmas 2012

oh Christmas you’re the best.  i think these pictures tell it pretty well!





^ good morning world, it’s christmas! and even the bug got matching pjs this year!  mommy and daddy got a special handmade back scratcher from the bug [a cut up solo cup that she thought up and wrapped all on her own..there may have been tears shed].  bug of course made out like a bandit.  hey, gotta live up being the only grandchild while she can!

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snow…sigh of relief…now it is really Christmas.0000_original (1)26

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12 00_original (6)we ate so much good food! SOOO much.  [excluding the above chips. blah, not my cup of tea]

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59_originalwe got in so much good family time too!  bug was in heaven with all the aunties and uncles to boss around.




and then we said goodbye to beautiful, snowy Indiana, until next time!

then and now

we couldn’t miss out on the fad. you see these before and after pictures everywhere (like here), so we decided to join in the fun and recreate one ourselves!



430800_10200309187399146_2122364958_ncheers to all those smiling faces and many more years of recreating pics (i vote for this to become an annual tradition)!