Tag Archives: california

Southland Sightseeing

It feels like ages since I wrote my last post.

Well, it’s been a rough road that last month. Lots of ups and downs and something close to an aversion towards blogging. Nothing personal, just too little energy and too much in my head. 

No.1 turned 3

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I managed to have two photo sessions. One is already on my blog here. For that session I had the opportunity to try a wonderful lens: 24mm f/1.4G ED AF-S. As I got used to it “Oh” ‘s  and “Ah” ‘s were coming out of me all the time. I was simply in heaven.

My second session was with a pregnant, beautiful mamma and her family. I didn’t have much time to post them on the blog, though.  Will do it shortly.

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I have two newborn sessions in front of me so starting tomorrow I am getting back to the hats making mode. 

Last Saturday we came back from Orange County where we had gone for husband’s business trip. We did some sightseeing but mostly just from our car.

 

We visited my husband friend and his pets

 

There was a lot of coffee involved

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Not as much as I thought of crocheting:

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And two nights in hotels. I was very surprised how good our kids dealt with that. 

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Before we had left the house we planned the trip so I could see the “Hollywood” sign. I was very excited about that but it actually didn’t happen, and I am not heart broken.

We drove by the place where we suppose to stand in order to see the sign:

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but when we got there, there were cars on cars parked on cars. Cars to the left and cars to the right. In addition the kids just fell asleep after a quite long time of screaming. I did not feel like I want to spend my time looking for a parking and then climbing up the hill to see some big letters – and just for that waking up the kids. It felt so good to ride in silence. They wake up pretty soon anyway. Go figure.

At least we stopped to see the “Walk of Fame”. I really enjoyed that. 

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I got lucky to find my favorite star within a few minutes from where we get out of the car. 

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Then a few more:

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And just as we were packing everybody to the car the husband spotted this place:

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On the way back we saw a sand storm, or a beginning of one.

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Oh… and we finally left our young doggy where she belongs – with a trainer.

 

and we picked up our Old Lady who during the last year has gotten so old, and blind, an deaf and oh… so disoriented. We got very close to actually not having her, but my crocodile tears had changed it. Not that I did it in purpose, but I just couldn’t stand the vision of not having her back. Simple. 

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She still is the very loving and patient dog I remember. She always has been. 

No.1 has already taken good care of the Old Lady.  After a few times of trying to ride the dog we finally told her that the dog is sick (which is not far from the truth at all), so she shouldn’t be doing it anymore. It worked. Now she is very carrying and loving towards the dog. She brings her blankets and pillows. 

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We are all happy to have her back. I can’t describe how happy I am. She is back where she belongs! 

warm hugs,  

365 Self-Portrait Project (week 51 & 52)

Happy New Year, everybody! I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas time and very relaxing start of 2013. This post is massive and I am sorry for that. Please grab a cup of tea or coffee and take your time to go through it. 
With all what was going on around here I had to skip one post. I have been taking self-portraits I just didn’t have the time and energy to put it all together and publish here.

Those are my last days of this project. There is only few days left, and I am feeling a little nostalgic about it. It was a tremendous challenge sometimes. Now it is nothing but a pleasure to be able to look back at all those pictures and remember day by day what  I was up to.

It’s been a journey! Really!

There is a few more pictures to be taken and it is not the last post from this series, so I won’t get all nostalgic here… not yet!

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Last Friday it was raining and inspired by some of the pictures my friend took in the rain, I decided to go out and try something with the rain, too. I just got wet, and ended up with an arm’s length  head shot. 😦

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The next day, on Saturday we left for Christmas. It was raining and I had plenty of opportunities to do some “rain shooting”, although it had to be from the outside of a moving car.

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The trip did not go the way we had planned it and at some point we had to stay at a hotel.

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The next day, before getting back on the road we had to run some errands … and while doing it those pictures were taken.

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and we hit the road again

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Merry after Christmas, my friends. I hope they were full of joy and happiness.

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Gifts, gifts, and more gifts… not a big fan of this part but, oh well… at least kids were happy!

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Later the same day life had gotten very bitter, and while each year I think that my Christmas can not get any worse… the next year it actually gets worse, and worse, and I right now I don’t want to think about the next year.

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Back on the road. This time following the u-hauling husband. 360 miles home with not very happy kids on board.

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and while driving I took some pictures of the amazing landscapes are we were passing through.

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It wasn’t the first time we were driving those roads but never before I had seen snow there, so I was pretty excited about it. We stopped just to let No.1 to touch the snow but she didn’t want to have anything to do with it. She was pretty scared… I have no idea why.

She said “she is scary” 😉

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When we got back home, this is what was waiting in our mail box. 

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Post card from one of my clients. I couldn’t be any happier. It took my mind away from all that stuff that was going on in my head, and it made me smile. 

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Just a quick snap. Nothing special. After we came back from our trip it was nothing but feeling overwhelmed with the amount of work that has to be done around our place. I wasn’t really feeling like being extra creative with the self-portraits.

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Then I got an eye infection, or whatever that was. Very painful and uncomfortable. It disappeared as quickly as it appeared, though. 

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Last Sunday I had a family photo session after witch we went for a lunch.  

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And this is a sneak peek of this session. What a great day we had! 

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Shower

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The First day of the 2013 we spent on a beach. 

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Not in a mood for pictures 😉

First of all I spent all day in my pajamas.

Second of all, the day before I had this big plan for the next day. You know the one in witch I rule the world; I clean the whole house, go grocery shopping, maybe go for a walk with kids, etc. 

Then I got up, looked at the piles of laundry here, boxes there, and I knew I need a coffee first. So I had my coffee and feeling a little bit better I vacuumed. And that’s how I ruled the world yesterday.

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 The last few pictures I am going to post next week. I want take my time to sum it up although I should say, I already did it with a post on BonBon Break “365 Self Portrait Project – A life changing Resolution“. It was published today. So far I can’t think of a better summary, sure, I should have said “thank you” more but this part will be here, on my blog. 

This essay is my second piece written for BonBon Break. The first one “Portraits of a Mother” was chosen to top 5 posts in 2012. What a great way to start the New Year and to finish this project.

In addition, if I can say I helped at least one woman to change her approach from “running away from the camera” to “willingly staying where she supposed to be” (and I know I have!) I will call this project a success of my life! 

Warm hugs!

Photo Art Friday

365 Self-Portrait Project (week 35th)

First of all, I want to invite all of you to read my post at World Moms Blog about my Self-Portrait Project. It is called “(Self)Portrait of mother(hood)” and I talk in it about… hm… this project in general, and why I encourage mothers to be more brave when it comes to have their pictures taken… for the sake of the future generations.

Second of all, this post has A LOT of pictures, not only self-portraits but of the things and places that we’ve seen, done, and gone to. Without them this post wouldn’t be complete.

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Friday:

New Hair Cut or Not… Thinking.
I am kinda tired of my I-Don’t-Know-What-To-Do-With hair cut. For years I had had short hair. Whenever they grew longer I would feel like there is nothing more boring than long hair and I would cut it again. When I met my husband he said he wish I would keep my hair long, and I did. Then I got really mad and frustrated with having to deal with my hair EVERYWHERE and I cut them. Since then they have grown again and again I’m in a spot where I hate it. I hate how they fall out, I hate to have them all over my clothes, in our food, and all over my kids. I hate to wear pony tail ALL THE TIME, too.

And I think: Cut it?

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On Saturday we hit the road. 7 hours long road trip. When we finally got to our destination I stayed at the hotel room with NO. 2 while the husband took No.1 and went to chat with his parents.

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Sunday was crazy. HOT AS HELL.

At some point me and the husband kind of split again. I’d stayed at the hotel room, feeding No.2 and taking a nap with her,

while my other half went outside to spent some time with his parents, taking No.1 with him.

Later that day, just before putting everybody to bed I took this picture.

We were teaching No.2 how to play “High Five” 😉

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On Monday we hit the road again. This time it took as 12 hours to get back home. It was the most tiring trip I had ever experienced. 

If a few years ago somebody told me I am going to hate road trips, I would laugh loud and long. I would say: “you freaking kidding me. I love road trip. I will never grow tired of road trips. NEVER! 

If a year ago somebody told me I’ll be the most happy person on the earth seeing Denny’s sign, I would say: “You’re freaking crazy!!!”.

Photo Art Friday

You may ask: why I don’t like road trips anymore?

So here is your answer: 

and while you watch this movie imagine that you’re stuck in this car for about 9 hours… and you’re car sick, and you’ve got a headache so big that you can barely see what in front of you…

Somewhere in the middle of our trip we picked up Kid NO.3:

She is 11 weeks old.

She is NOT potty trained.

She is afraid of us.

She couldn’t walk on leash.

She is all what I DO NOT NEED at this point of our life.

but husband had waited for this puppy for over a year…

She is already a best buddy with No.1

No/1  is the main reason No.3 (her name is Magnolia/Maggie) has learned to walk on leash in a period of 2 days.

She sleeps in crate.

She is not potty trained, and every single morning we wake up to a smell of poop and pee.

So until she is fully trained, her place is in there.

The training is going pretty good, though.

During the day she doesn’t poop or pee in the house. Yeay!

and here are her mother and her brother:

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This was taken after one of those mornings when my husband goes outside in order to clean up the crate and I go to the bathroom to wash the poop and pee off of No.3. 

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Play time.

No. 2 LOVES to play  “flying baby”. This is one of those moments when no matter how mad, sad, frustrated she is, when I pick her up and do the “flying baby” a big smile appears on her face, immediately.

Bonnie’s texture “The Little Things”

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Today we’ve had a several potty breaks. Doggy hasn’t had a single accident inside the apartment what makes me really happy!

and while we were playing I took a few shots of my little ones:

I wish you all super relaxing weekend, my friends!

I hope for more than 4 hours of sleep during those few upcoming nights…

Johnny Garlic’s

As much as I like Guy Fieri my husband doesn’t!

That didn’t stop him from taking us to Guy’s restaurant Johnny Garlic’s.

We had planned to visit the one which was recently opened in San Francisco but after searching the web I found out that there is one not so far away from where we live.

I did want to go there really bad but after reading many online reviews about this place I wasn’t very thrilled. Knowing how picky eater my husband is I had thought that the trip is going to be a waste of money but he wanted to take me there anyway, and he did.

Right from the start we were welcomed by a tv screen with Guy’s Food Network show “Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives“. Inside plenty of souvenirs like t-shirts, “Triple D” books, sets of knifes, and Guy’s special sauces… .

I ordered the Black n’ Blue burger with garlic fries:

while fries are pretty normal thing for me to order at a restaurant, a burger is a totally different story. First of all I can’t say the word “burger” without my husband grinning. I had no idea how funny I sound saying it until he pointed it out. That’s not the only reason why I try to avoid any foods that have the word “burger” in it, but pretty much this is the main one 😉

I had no idea why I ended up with this particular dish in front of me. Maybe because it had blue cheese and I wanted to try the famous Guy’s “donkey sauce“. The burger itself wasn’t outstanding. It tasted very ordinary, I would say. On the other hand the fries were delicious!!! “Hurt my stomach for two days” and “killing the mosquitos with my breath only” garlic fries!

My husband had Guy’s Big Bite Burger with Pretzel roll (without the donkey sauce, of course!!!):

Both our portions were really generous not to mention the unlimited DELICIOUS bread they served as a starter with a dip I was about to lick of the plate.

Many reviews we had read online complained about the service which in our case was great. Our waiter didn’t look like Guy Fieri but he surely acted like him what was pretty funny!

My husband sometime after a few bites of his burger had discovered that his meat was uncooked. He mentioned it to the waiter and he called the manager, they both started to apologize. We were offered a free dessert or a free dish for my husband to which we had to say “no, thank you” as the kids were getting really cranky and we had to leave. They were really great trying to fix that mistake, though. At the end they took off my husband’s dish from the bill as well as half of mine. I have no idea why as I ate almost everything, leaving only a few fries behind 😉

Overall I think it a place worth to visit and we will probably go there again. Next time I will settle with a salad, though (and garlic fries). I figured, it’s a great “cheer me up” place.

(* for those who got this post twice to their email box: I had to delete the first post as WordPress screw it up and I couldn’t fix it. I had to write a new one. I apologize for that)

Simple BPM

 

On This Memorial Day…

… we visited Golden Gate National Cemetery in San Bruno.

The visit was short. Cold and sharp wind in our faces. Screaming newborn and wandering everywhere toddler… .

Got the picture?!

Anyway during this short visit I took a few pictures.

It was amazing to be able to experience a place like that not only from the TV screen but with my own eyes.

Very touching… .

I suck at panoramic pictures, so this one is not the best one but I just wanted to show how big and impressive this place is, and this is only a small part of what was around us:

Click on the picture to enlarge

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My kind of Heaven

I hope all of you, mothers, had a wonderful day yesterday.

Despite very harsh morning, which meant, I could have slept much longer but my husband woke me up VERY early. He didn’t know I had struggled with our Little Princess till 4:30 am. He had planned that trip much earlier and wanted to take me there really bad. At the end of the day I was actually happy he did wake me up even if I was a little mad when he did that 😉

We went to a beautiful garden (Elisabeth F. Gamble Garden in Palo Alto) with so many flower to photograph. All of them were at the peak of blooming stage. Just a wonderful place!

Despite that everyone was yawning…

… and throwing tantrums…

… in general we had a great time:

In such a beautiful place it would be a shame not to enjoy it.

Normally I’m not a big fan of photographing flowers… until I start doing it 🙂

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Every single time we go visit a place with flowers I’m a little skeptical. I have the attitude: “Flowers? Again?” but then we get there and I take the camera out and from the start I feel like I’m in a hog heaven. Weird.

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They even had something Polish :

And after I fed my soul with all that beauty there was a time to feed my body… with pear gorgonzola pizza.

D.E.L.I.C.I.O.U.S

Have a wonderful after Mother’s Day day, my friends 🙂

365 Self-Portrait Project (week 18)

I’m writing this post being not in my twenties anymore. One day I woke up feeling 30 and that was it. As my friend says: “Life begins after 30” 😉

I think my life have really started when I had my first baby.

Before that it was just preparing, tasting, seeking… .

These days my life flies by and I don’t know when and how. It’s crazy:

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… and this picture is the evidence for that 😉

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Those pictures were taken on the run. The one with my reflection was literally taken on the run. I started the day thinking how great self-portraits I’m going to take at the Mystery Spot in Santa Cruz (it’s a link to a few pictures and a short story from our trip) where we were going but not knowing the life with two small kids that well I overestimated it and there was no way for me to just relax and have at least 5 minutes for myself up there. Our screaming and throwing tantrums No 1 focused all the attention on her. Not only my attention but all the people who were around us trying to enjoy their tour.

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It might look a little confusing with the first picture in which I’m breastfeeding her… .

I bottle-feed her as well… .

She is not a very good eater. She still sleeps a lot and the only way for me not to loose my milk supplies and for her to get enough milk is pumping and bottle-feeding her in between breastfeeding. [sigh!]

At least this time I have an electric pump not manual like with my No 1. I HATED IT!!!

So at the same time I was feeding No 2, No 1 was having her breakfast and I was trying to eat mine while going through the pictures for this post.

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She is the most happiest baby while sleeping on me or her dad. No matter how uncomfortable her position looks she doesn’t care.

You think this was comfortable?:

I don’t 😉

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…and again.. day with the Little One on my arms. Sleeping.

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Out of the dish washer detergent 🙂

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whole wheat blueberry-banana pancakes for breakfast. It’s all seems like a quiet morning but just for your notice I took this picture about 20 minutes ago (11:20am) and after that I put away that fork and gobbled down a few of those like I didn’t eat for a week. There is no time to enjoy food these days 😉

My head is spinning today and the only thing I think of is to go for a long walk. Just me and my camera.

… or to sit and cry! Cry the hell out of me…

Oh NO, wait… the first thing I think about is a SHOWER!!! I wish I could take a long, hot shower, than I wish I could sit and cry the hell out of me… and then clean on my body and soul go for a long lonely walk.

How does that sound… for me it sounds like a wishful thinking… .

Mommy and Me Monday at Really, Are You Serious?Photo Art FridayChic Homeschool Mama

 

Mystery Spot

Yesterday we took advantage of that gorgeous Summer weather and we went to Santa Cruz. We had planned trip to San Francisco but we changed it.

We wanted to do something fun for my b-day…

…and we did.

… and it was fun.

but not so much for me as for those who was watching us.

We went to the Mystery Spot in Santa Cruz.

Everything was going pretty smooth until we started out tour. Sorry but I won’t explain why everything up there works as it does. I wasn’t paying much attention to what the tour guy was saying because our No 1 was doing everything she could to not let me to listen.

I actually don’t blame her. On this so called “gravity hill” it was hard to walk or stand straight even for adults.

I wish we had planned it differently so we would’ve enjoyed that place a bit more and for a longer period. It’s a beautiful place out there as Santa Cruz itself is.

Scattered Horizons

After a few minutes of being there our No 1 got really upset of not being able to keep her balance. And at the same time as a two year old  she wanted to go where she wanted not where we were going (yep, she got her “terrible two” moments up there). It was just impossible to make her stop whining! 

… and the only picture of me I ended up from that trip is taken in a hurry, while packing everybody to the car, self-portrait 🙂

Despite all the bruises our daughter got from falling straight on her face she finished the day with a big smile. 

Oh well, without all those ups and downs that day wouldn’t be so memorable, I guess 😉

Live, Love, Travel

B-day Girl and Nola’s Iris Garden

Uff…

Finally I got a chance to sit down with a cup of my favorite green tea and write a post.

Finally, because lately  for most of the days I look like that: 

Our Sleeping Beauty has changed into Not So Sleepy or Sleeping Only When You Hold Me and If You’re Not I Scream Beauty. I can’t decide what’s better: me worrying all day long about her not eating and loosing weight or her being such a needy Little Stinker. My poor back is hurting me terribly because not only that she doesn’t sleep much BUT she eats a lot which means she gets heavier and heavier each day. In addition it’s really hard to have anything done around the house.

So, this is what’s happening with our No 2.

Last week our No 1. turned 2. We have a small family celebration at Chuck E. Cheese’s. She loved it and I was happy I didn’t have to bake or cook anything that day.

On Saturday we went to THE MOST BEAUTIFUL PLACE ON EARTH:

Nola’s Iris Garden!!!

The thing is that I really don’t care about Irises. I think they are not that pretty or interesting as flowers. 

BUT

For me that place is magical. I wrote about it last year when we visited it for the first time.

It’s magical maybe because while I do not like irises this place full of them is my favorite place. I haven’t found anything better than that. 

Maybe I like it so much because this is how I would want to live. On a farm, with a few horses and cows and chickens running around. I want to have a  place full of dogs. I want to have gardens.

This place looks like that only for a few weeks while the irises bloom. For the rest of the year the owners support themselves by selling bulbs and grass-fed cows (for meat, of course). They do rent horses as well.

This young creature was abandoned by its mother after birth and the owners had fed him from the bottle for a while. Now she is on a mixed diet: grass + grains. It’s an experiment as normally those people have only grass-fed cows this time they want to see if feeding her with grains will make a change in the taste of the meat. Yes, this cute thing is going to end up in our food chain in a near future.

Scattered Horizons

Last year our daughter was barely walking when we visited this place. This year she was everywhere. It was hard to stop her from running all over those flowers. It was like she was on a sugar rush.

From time to time she would lost her chips. Myself I do believe in a rule of not having many rules when it comes to eating from the floor. So while she was cleaning up the mess she made I was watching my husband’s “a little bit concerned face”. Nope, we do not agree on many things. Eating from the floor is one of them but anytime it’s not his food we’re talking about (picking from the floor) he let it go 😉

(And that’s why he stopped watching me cooking in the kitchen. He was simply afraid that if he continues to do that he wouldn’t want to eat what I cook.)

Anyway, our daughter strongly believe that what fell on the floor is as good as something what is on the plate (or in a  bag in this case).

There is all kinds of small sculptures placed all over the garden and I love it.

So for now I’ll leave you all here. My quiet, dreamy time came to the end.

Have a great evening, my friends!

Live, Love, Travelparenting BY dummiesand  then, she {snapped}


Spring Photowalk

First of all, this year there was no Winter in here. This Winter was the mildest and the warmest since I came to US… and I really do not complain about it. It’s actually the first Winter that I imagined it would be like before I arrive to CA. FINALLY. I know, I know, we need the water… but still… it was nice without it or at least not THAT much of it.

A few days ago we went for a long walk – long for me these days… not so long while I am not that far along in my pregnancy. Our daughter has always a blast walking along or most of the time in front of us. She is so full of energy that she doesn’t walk, she runs back and forth. She waves to people passing by and she always says “Hi”. Where did she get that from, I don’t know. It’s really cute, though.

My walks are almost always photowalks. If it isn’t too cold or raining I always take my camera with me. There is always something interesting to photograph no matter how many times we walk the same route.

Finally I stopped and took some shots of those beautiful blooming trees.They are everywhere in our neighbourhood.

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And just when we were heading to our apartment there is that tree poking from the neighours. It’s beautiful. Two vivid colors on one tree. It catches my attention every single time we drive or walk by.

Our geranium. This plant is immortal, I’ll tell you that. Blooming beautifuly every single year, actually all year long.

… and that Kid of Ours… almost always with a wide smile. I hope that attitude will stay with her forever!!! I can’t wait to see her face when she sees her Little Sister in a month.