of festivals and fairs

fall was fabulous this year and we tried to take full advantage!4098735829345_original

what’s a fair without lemon shake-ups and funnel cakes?!6


the national book fair was really neat!  we heard a few authors speak, did a lot of crafts and games, and bug got one of her books signed by the author!32082734682437_original

and the annual fall festival/pumpkin patch visit.

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zombie ballerina

i am going to play catch up on a few of the key events that happened during my blogging sabbatical, because i have some photos and stories that are too great not to post. one of those key things was Halloween.

this year the bug wanted to be something scary (no masks allowed), and somehow decided on a zombie.  she then spent hours trying to decide what type of outfit she wanted to zombie-fy.  we discussed cheerleader, bride (taken by her friend already), pirate, rocker, and on and on, until finally finding a decent, already put together, zombie ballerina costume.  so be it.


she got to wear her costume twice this year, at a themed Halloween party and to trick-or-treat.


i am saying a sad goodbye to days of princesses, cats, and ladybugs….the terrifying pre-teen years are just around the corner!

a blogging sabbatical


so I went MIA for a bit.  prepare yourself for a raging flurry of excuses:

first of all i’m pregnant.  the best excuse ever.  an excuse to cop out on basically anything and everything…except for work.  which is in and of itself another excuse for taking a blogging sabbatical, as my job does not recognize that we are people (let alone pregnant people) and requires ungodly amounts of hours and stress.  also, we made some other major family decisions that were quite stressful and required lots of thinking and researching and energy.

i am not an easily stressed out person.  i typically thrive on stressful situations.  i am one of those people who can’t ever just sit down and relax.  even when the hubs has convinced me to sit and watch a show with him (which rarely happens), i am antsy and typically doing something else while watching, always needing to be busy. however, i was extremely stressed out for a few months this fall while making some major life changes.

thus, something, somewhere had to give, and i thought that blogging was the right thing to give up. but i was wrong.  i have realized that blogging/photography is actually one of the only things that i do for myself!  and having an outlet or hobby that you love is an absolute must (even more so when you’re stressed).  so i’m back to blogging.  even if it is sporadic and the pictures are not quite up to par with what i would like them to be, i’m still going to make an effort.

i do have to caveat my intent to blog, for anyone that actually reads this blog with any sort of consistency, that i am in a crazy busy season at work, we are moving in March, baby #2 is due in April, and my husband is leaving for two years of training in May…..so the blogging is more for myself.  and to document family memories, because looking back at some of my older blog posts is so much fun!  here are a few of my favorite memories that i had forgotten about until i looked back through:

my favorite healthy food is pikl

the hair of berkley elizabeth

fashionista in the making

and yet another day in the life of an auditor…..

this sounds like a movie plot but i swear its true boss

1st day of 1st Grade

again i cried like a baby….will that ever stop? so bittersweet.  it seems like only yesterday she was this little thing!

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so this year she wants to be a rockstar.  and she rocks it out around the house ALL THE TIME.  i will have to post a video of some of her sweet moves!3

oh this little lady. she keeps me on my toes these days.  always helping to remind me to do the right thing [especially when it comes to traffic issues, she is basically a driving expert].5i love you berkley elizabeth.  and i look forward to the excitement of every day with you!


yep, we are adding on! baby houston #2 due April 2, 2014!

17[note: my belly looks huge here….that might be partially due to the hot dogs (yes plural) that i ate while at the park. i have the best excuse ever, so i figured just go for it!!]

we told the bug while in Disney and may have slightly overwhelmed the poor girl, but she is SUPER excited! i can already tell she is going to be the best big sister. she has been taking care of me while i am battling some awfully brutal “morning” sickness (it actually drags on throughout the whole day, but whatever). i didn’t have any of these symptoms while pregnant with bug, so i am slowly learning how to cope with it (only 4 weeks left, thank goodness), but bug is a huge help and brings me water or saltines or a puke bucket or rubs my back for me. i can’t wait to see how she is around a little brother or sister.

so it may be a little quiet around here over the next few weeks, or at least until i can brush my teeth without vomiting!

where dreams come true



such a fun place!  my love for Disney runs deep. every time I go here I have a blast.  and seeing bug have a blast here just makes it that much better.  there were princesses, princesses, and more princesses filling our days!49_original7

^ the prettiest princess around!50_original2352_original12

it was cloudy and overcast just the right amount so that we didn’t fry in the heat!

space mountain was having technical difficulties while we were there, but bug was totally game to try it!25


^ typical53_original

we also went to Animal Kingdom

bug was really into getting her explorer badges and completing the explorer workbook3356_original

the safari ride was fabulous and you get so close to the animals3557_original39

the little bug freaked out at the bug’s life ride inside the huge tree.  we have learned she is NOT a fan of dense fog.58_original 43

^ the lion king show. best. ever.59_original

41such a great trip! can’t wait til next time!

home…sigh of contentment

it’s so nice to be home! no matter how wonderful your travels, it is just a great feeling to sleep in your own bed again!

while i am playing catch up at work and at home, here are a few beauts from San Fran.  i have such mixed feeling towards that city! freezing cold [yes, if you need to buy hot cocoa at a baseball game to keep warm, it qualifies as freezing] in the middle of August…so bizarre….yet very, very pretty.  totally torn.

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most of these are from hiking around Golden Gate Park.  there is so much to see there!00 0

and off we go again

on to another adventure or two!  the bug is heading back to Indiana to spend a week visiting family while i head off to San Fran for the week (work related, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be fun).  then back to DC for an adults only weekend at the beach before i am off to Orlando for a week. all of this culminating in a family Disneyworld trip!! woohoo!  it’s been three years since we took bug to Disney and i can’t wait to see her reactions this time around as she has been fully invested in planning and preparing this time around.


she had a smile on her face the whole time [minus one minor chicken nugget incident]

382569_684952887457_1793446402_nread about our family trip to San Fran here

this means the blogging will be sparse, or potentially nonexistent the next few weeks, FYI