After school settled a bit, we celebrated lil’ bro turning two.  It truly felt like the his day took forever to get here, since we had been going through C’s transition the entire month.

 He turned two the end of her first month of school.  August is the busiest month of the year for our little family!! 

He LOVES LOVES LOVES balloons (and bubbles and balls).  So this year, I found some balloon cupcake toppers for a little balloon theme for his birthday.  And, yes, he was in LOVE!!  He actually had more fun eating the balloons than the cupcake.  Ha!:)

“BaaaallloooooooonSSSSSSSS!!  “BaaaaaaallllooooonnnnnnSSSSSSSS!!”   He stresses the “S” big time. So cute!!


We took him to the Aquarium and then just hung out as a family and enjoyed him on his new tricycle, that now both kids have of their own.  Whew!! No more fighting over that one…well, now they each want each others! Ha! But, overall, it was a nice and relaxing day.

Once the cupcakes came out, that’s when the party really started. Right!! :):)

Trying SO hard to reach for his cupcake. 


Let the cupcake eating begin!


“Mmmmmm….Yum!   Mmmmmm…Good!”  is what he always says these days when he eats something he likes.  Always makes me smile, BIG!!


Showing him what to do.  Gotta love having a big sibling!:)


Still trying to figure it out.


Then Daddy got in on the fun, showing him how to eat a cupcake, step-by-step.  

Pick up the cupcake.


Take the paper off.


Take a bite.


Then look up and say, “MMMMMMMMMMMM…..this is GOOOOOD!!”

Oh!!! That’s how you do it!!  Now, can I have yours!?!


Then it was back to figuring out how to eat his. 


While the rest of us chowed down ours.


The more he played, the more he figured it out.


And the more laughs and giggles were had.


Until…it was all gone!   Oh, that face!!


And, for some fun, I played with video on my camera for the first time.  In this, you get see the birthday boy and hear about a really cool dream big sis had.

She had just gotten a new mermaid doll from the Aquarium, so she had mermaids on the mind and lil’ bro kept trying to eat the balloons, and we kept telling him not too, so she had “something getting stuck in your throat” on the mind, too….which you can see in the 2nd video.  LOL!


Like I said, you can see in this video where her dream came from. LOL!  Please be patient with me while I’m trying to figure out my settings on the camera with this one.  I’m hoping to learn more so I can add more video to the blog soon! Yay!!:)


We love you SO much, buddy boy!!  You are one shining bright light!!

You amaze me how you ALWAYS have a smile on your face (even in that last ultrasound I had on 30 something weeks while pregnant with you!!) and how you ALWAYS light up everyone you make eye contact with.

It’s such a joy to witness this as we cart you around the stores and you talk to everyone that walks by.  And every single person stops and says, he’s just smiling at me, as they smile back.  Best feeling in the world that you do this for people!!

You complete our little family in so many wonderful ways.  

We can’t wait to watch you grown more and more into YOU as you adventure on as being two!!!  And, wow, look how much you’ve grown!!


Until next time…

Live life slow…it’s the only way to truly savor what you love (and capture it, too!).  And boy, does lil’ bro remind of us of that while eating his cupcake!!

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Let me tell ya…I had been anticipating this day all summer.  Oh, no, wait!  I’ve been anticipating this day since the day she was born!!  Ha!

If you read, what I learned on my daughter’s first day of pre-k, then I’m sure you know why.

I really thought I was going to have to leave her, arms out, screaming again at me, “MOMMY!! HELP ME!!!” with the most terrified look on her face.  Thank goodness, that didn’t happen.  Her first day went well.  It was just half her class, and she seemed to enjoy it.

Me on the other hand…I was a MESS!!!

As soon as her teacher came out to get the kids, my eyes started to tear and they wouldn’t stop.  Luckily, I had my sunglasses on, so she couldn’t see my tears starting to form.

And after she went on her way, I was thankful that D was with me so he could drive home.  I was a mess for almost over an hour. My tears just flowed and flowed (and I will blame this on Aunt Flo’s upcoming visit!! HA!! Oh, and the fact that lil’ bro went around the house, yelling out, “CEECEE!!! Where are you????”

As a former elementary school teacher, I always knew, that once she entered Kindergarten, that was it. Our days of hanging out, playing and just BEing together all day long, are now lessened.

I’m also very aware of all the work she’s going to have to do now, and I was definitely worried and excited with how she was going to handle it.  It’s  a big difference from Pre-K to Kindergarten, ya know?  Especially these days with SO much testing that goes on in the school system.

So on this morning, I was NOT calm.  I didn’t spend a lot of time with my camera.  So I’m glad I was able to snap these real quick.

When I was younger, I can still remember the pictures my mom took of me, in my uniform, just like hers, in front of our door, every first day of the new school year.  So my intention, is that when my kids grow older, they’ll enjoy looking back on these, posed shots, as much as I did.  Oh, and that little scratch on her face is from lil’ bro.  Guess he wanted to go to school with her, too.;) 


I was SO excited that she was happy to be going and was still being her silly self!!


Then the second day of Kindergarten came and that’s when we both spent the next 2 to almost 3 weeks crying.  Oh man!!!

To me, the hardest thing ever, is leaving her in a new setting, not knowing anything or anyone, crying.  As soon as I’d drop her off.  She’d sit down, in the class line, and then she’d start crying.  I’d walk away, trying to hold it together, then get in my car and cry.

Once home, the day would just DRAG!! I couldn’t wait to go pick her up.  But, luckily, when I’d pick her up, she was happy, but TIRED!!

Oh man, some days (and we still have a few here and there) it felt like she was 2 again.  She would have HUGE tired meltdowns in the car.

I made the mistake, on the third day, bringing her to pick up cupcakes for her birthday celebration at school, when I was checking out she saw a Sofia the First table she wanted.  I told her no, and the entire ride home cried LOUD!!!!  Oh, the joy!  Makes your heart break into pieces because you know it’s all stemming from her adjustment to longer days at school and tons of new information she’s learning.  So hard!!

That first Friday, I gave her yogurt in a container, for her lunch.  All of this, bringing lunch to school, is new for me, too.

I thought someone would have helped her opened it.  Well, she didn’t ask and she tried it herself, and it spilled all over her.  It was on her shoes, all over her uniform and her bow.  She seemed fine with it, but man, I felt AWFUL for putting her through that.  I apologized to her and I told her that we’d just save the yogurt for home.  As I told myself, over and over again that I was NEVER doing that again!!!  (But, now she’s bringing the stick yogurt in and is asking for help…Yay!! No spilling since!! )

The following week was still rough.  We had mornings where she was refusing to put her uniform on and was crying and fighting me.  I tried my best to stay strong and not cry with her.  As the week went on, I was still picking her up happy (and TIRED!!), and she was starting to tell me, “Mom, I cried today…” like it wasn’t a big deal anymore.

That was getting me through those rough mornings.

Because her adjustment was longer this time (it only took her 3 days to adjust to Pre-K), I was doubting my decisions that I made for her BIG TIME!!!! 

I had never seen her NOT want to go to school.  She never once refused school while at Pre-K.  She even wanted to go when she was sick.  So this was SO foreign to me, which was part of the reason I was doubting my decisions I’ve made for her (since she was born…ha!).

Did I pick the right school? 

Did I not keep her in the Pre-K program long enough?  

Maybe 3 hours wasn’t as good enough preparation for Kindergarten as I thought it would?

Maybe I was being too selfish by wanting her to be home with me in the afternoons, since I’m home and I want this time with her, before big school comes?

Maybe I started her too soon?  Maybe she should have started Kindergarten next year?

Maybe I should homeschool her?

Oh my head was a mess!! And, I was moving further and further away from trust and faith and that this IS all normal!!

At first, she was mainly crying for me, but then the crying for me moved to telling me it was too much work and she wanted to play.  Which is understandable, coming from Pre-K.  So, I was happy that this seemed to be the only downfall she was continuing to talk to me about.

I also knew, at this time, I needed to work on my inner thoughts.  I started thinking more positively and visualizing all good things for her (and I) at school.  I started to move more into a trust and faith mindset and soon enough, just like I’ve learned every time in life, things ALWAYS work out just as they should and things ALWAYS get better and that every situation is all about GROWTH, so this is NOT a bad thing that’s happening right now.  It’s all actually SO, SO good!!  And, really, there’s SO many more GOOD days than BAD…every single time!! 

I was reminded, again, something I heard Dr. Michael Bernard Beckwith say, on his livestream at Agape, that has stuck with me since I heard it, is that… it’s not what you’re going through…it’s what you’re GROWING through!!

He’s SO right on with those words. I love him SO much!! Such an amazing man!!

So, soon enough, by the end of the third week, everything started to flow more smoothly.  

The thing with C, is that she’s very much like me, how I was when I was younger.  She’s not comfortable around adults.  It takes her time to adjust.  With all those new teachers to meet this year, I knew that was part of the reason she was scared to go.  Once she settled into her “new” schedule, and I settled into mine, things shifted.  Which, I always knew they would.  

But, again, just like last year, I’m put through another growth spurt, just like she is.  And, another round of trusting that life is good!!  SO, SO GOOD! And staying in that mindset longer than the fears, doubts and worries mindset.

It’s been so long since I’ve been in school and I’ve forgotten what it’s like to start a class with no one I know.  So, again, I’m reminded, that right now, I’m living life too comfortable.  And that comfort isn’t helping me grow.

C did amazing!!  Going to a new school, only having one little friend from her Pre-K class there with her, but not in her class.  Meeting new teachers and learning new material, and now she’s so happy (and still tired!! Ha!) and talking about her friends and her teachers every day.

It’s this situation, right here, that is the biggest reminder of all…that walking through fear is the best thing any of us can do, because every time we do this, there’s SO much light and fun and laughter and inner growth and inner strength and inner connectedness to who we truly are and what we truly love is waiting for us on the other side.  I’m SO grateful I have my kids to keep reminding of this.  To show me the way.  To help me stay connected to this no matter how old I am and how much of life I already know. 

It’s this, that builds our confidence and allow us to continue to shine bright.

Camille, you are my #1 teacher and I love you SO much for that!!  You help me to see what’s truly important when it comes to living life and you show me exactly how I need to get out there and live!!  

And most of all, you’ve allowed me to really dig deep within myself and connect to WHO I truly am…someone I’m now ready to let out more!! 

I thank you every single day for that!!  

I’m SO proud to be your mother and watch your amazing, awesome self blossom and grow!!  

What a difference a year makes…for both of us!!


And now it’s my turn to walk through that fear. :):)

Which I do have major plans in store for just that, which I’m really, REALLY, really excited about!!



Does this sound familiar?  Was it hard for you to let your child or children go off into the world without you?  I’d love to know that I’m not the only one who was crying in the car after drop off. :):)   

I do think, when it’s lil’ bro’s turn, it will go much smoothly, since he see’s big sis going to school.  Hoping!!;)


Until next time…

Live life slow…it’s the only way to stay more in trust and faith mode and truly savor what you love (and capture it, too!)

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Because the week is filled with hectic schedules and not as much family time as I’d like, I love love LOVE to SAVOR our family togetherness and family moments that I LOVE (through the lens) on the weekends. This is the most special time because we’re all together the entire weekend and being with my family (and capturing ONLY what makes me stop with BIG, BIG smiles and fills me with happy tingles) is my number one passion of all.  


This weekend, I SLOWED DOWN to SAVOR, through my iphone lens, a moment of sweet, sibling play.  Friday night we went birthday party shopping and ended up getting toys for the kiddos.  Well, that night, lets just say…the sibling fighting was on!!!  They both wanted the same lego pieces.  Oh yeah!!  Friday night was a PARTAAAAY for all of us!!

A party for keeping the peace!! :):)

So, on Saturday, I walked out into the living and couldn’t believe my eyes.  They were both playing SO, SO nicely together.  And it lasted longer than 30 seconds!! WHOA!!!

Because my dream came true of them playing together in such a nice, calming way, I pulled out my book to read.  It’s been SO long since I’ve read Eat Pray Love.  I watched Elizabeth Gilbert on Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday last weekend and it got me excited to read it again.  It’s one of my all time favorite books (and movie!!).  I can’t wait to watch Part 2 from yesterday on Super Soul Sunday.  Will do that this week!

But this book…oh wow!  I just love everything about it.  I went to Europe (Germany, Paris, France and Rome, Italy and London) right after college and ever since, I’ve been wanting to go back and truly SAVOR it.  I have this full-on love affair with Paris and I can’t wait to go back.  The food…the slowness…just everything about it.  I really LOVE the Italy part…especially when they talk about the Art of Doing Nothing!! Aaaahhhhh!!  And of course, the food!!  Yeah, I wanna go back! 

And then India…I LOVE to mediate…but I’m not sure if I’d ever go to Ashram like she did, but mediation is something that I strive to do daily and don’t always get to, and that’s pretty much why I doodle.  It IS my mediation.  But, I still love sitting in silence, too! THE BEST!! 

And Bali…oh, I LOVE everything about this part of the book, too.  I’d LOVE to go to Bali…but, who knows if that would happen…but this is the part of the book that’s all about LOVE…and I LOVE, LOVE!:) 

So yeah, I LOVE this book!! And I’m SO excited to be reading it again!!:)

My reading didn’t last too long because it got really quiet in my house.  You may know this, but in our house, when it’s super, duper quiet, that’s when I know, something is happening that shouldn’t be.  And, yep…this time it was big sis who was coloring on the window sill.   Good times! Good times!

That afternoon, C had a birthday party to go to.  It was nice to take her, just her and I, while the boys stayed home.  I always LOVE watching her play with her little friends.  It’s always so hard for me to be home, not seeing her blossom at school, so when I get these moments, I truly savor them!

She was SO excited about the HUGE bounce house and told me she never wanted to leave and wanted to sleep in it.  Oh, kids!!;)

As for me, I’m not a fan.  It’s the teacher in me, I think.  I always have my eye on her, no matter what, when she’s in there.  Especially when big kids and little kids and medium sized kids are in it with her.  Ha!:)

On Sunday, Daddy and C, went out to the store and I got to hang with lil’ bro.  I really can’t believe that at his age he’s already learning how to use the computer…well, he knows he can watch Mickey on it, but, he still bangs on the keyboard, takes the batteries out of the mouse and climbs up on the desk to touch the screen.

So, yeah, we still have some time to go before he’s stops his banging and climbing.;)

His little cuteness in the chair always makes me smile and reminds me of when big sis was this size in the chair.  Awwwweeee!

When C and Daddy were back, another, and very RARE, sibling moment happened!!  She kept reading him, “Where is Baby?”  and he was LOVING every bit of it.

Laughing and giggling and smiling BIG.

I came out of the kitchen and just watched them as my heart filled with so much JOY!!  These moments make all those sibling conflicts melt away.  Every single time!!

Lil’ bro left and she stayed comfy and read some more.  Awwwweeeee!!! Heart bursting with love!!

She’s growing up!!

Lil’ bro went down for his nap and D and I started to prep dinner…Ziti!   We haven’t done this in  SO long!! It felt SO good to be back in the kitchen like this…together!! Something we did a lot before kids.

While chopping up onions and garlic for my homemade sauce, I heard a giggling scream.  I thought she had gone into her lil’ bro’s room to wake him so she could play with him.

She’s always so sad when he takes his nap and she asks me over and over, “When is Luca going to wake up?”  They make each other mad, but at the same time, they don’t like it when they’re apart.:) 

But, I was wrong.  I stopped, smiled and just SAVORed her playing with Harry Potter on her bed.

These moments are the best!!  Moments I never wanna forget!!

Later on, C wanted to wear pants.  We just got her new pants, but they’re not 5T.  I have to get her 3T pants because of the waist, which means, the length of the pants aren’t as long.

Luckily, these new pants we bought, the length was pretty good, or so I thought.  She wanted them to touch her feet…like, actually cover her feet.  She was SO mad that they weren’t…crying and just NOT HAPPY!  I tried another pair to see if that was better.  Um, nope!  She wanted them LONGER!!!

It’s funny, because she totally  gets this from me…I hate when my paints are above my shoes, too…so I totally understood where she was coming from, but, her crying lasted forever!!

We kept trying to tell her that it’s because she’s not used to the pants because she’s been wearing shorts and dresses and she just has to get used to it.  We tried playing with her, tickling her, giving her raspberry kisses.  Lil’ bro even tried to help her feel better by giving her a hug and Daddy put on his jeans to show her that his pants did the same thing when he stood up to walk around.

NOTHING was working…

Until, finally, D  packed her up in his hiking backpack and took her for a ride around the house.  I think it might of been that Luca was chasing them saying, “CEECEE…I’ll get you!!!” over and over again that snapped her out of her pants dilemma.  LOL!

And then he tried to pull her out and save her. LOL!!

And when they’re coloring on the walls (and windows!!), that’s when you know it’s back to normal around here!! Whew!!;)

Oh, and the pants are still on!!  Yep, they sure are!! And, there’s no crying to be had. Woohoo!:)

And then it was snack time!! Proof that everyone was back to happy!!  Woohoo!!

Until, finally, we were all happy, because our tummies were full from a nice family dinner of Ziti...that my kids only ate a few bites of!! Gotta love the picky stage!

(All pics taken with iPhone 5 and edited with the PicTapGo! app)



Did YOU slow down to savor what YOU love (through the lens) this weekend?  I’d LOVE to hear!


Until next time…

Live life slow…it’s the only way to truly SAVOR what you love (and capture it, too!)

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Well, hello!!

It’s been awhile!

After a summer of spending time with my kiddos and then C starting Kindergarten this past August, and then me, really wanting some down time, I’m finally feeling a bit settled and ready to write and share again.

Now that big sis is in school full time (more of our transition on this soon…for both of us!!) and little bro is still taking 2 hour naps, I finally have 2 full hours to myself, 5 days a week. Woohoo!!!

It’s been 3 years since I’ve had time like this to myself.  Oh my gosh! There’s nothing more nourishing to me than a quiet house!!  Aaaaaaahhhhhhhhhh!!!

At first, I didn’t know what to do with myself, but then, soon, after, I realized, that this IS the year that I’m going to nourish myself with self-care.

I’ve been sitting still in my quiet house, reading inspiring books, doodling and I even started doodle painting again.  I know, more than ever, that this year is my time to go within.

And so far, I’m loving it!!  So, SO needed!!

Two days before C started the big K on August 5th, she turned 5.  We just had a chill day and took her to Chuck E. Cheese, her request.  She’s SO into Harry Potter, so most of her presents this year were Harry Potter themed.  She was excited!!

She was up early and waited patiently to open her gifts.

Hooray!!  Everyone’s finally ready!!:)

Let the presents begin!!

A Harry Potter wizard wand!! YAAAAY!!!

And a Harry Potter cloak!!  Woohoo!!!

And, of course, we had to let him try on her new Harry Potter glasses.  CUUUUUTE!!!!!

When we got back from a day out with Chuck E. Cheese, we dived into the big 5 cake!!

She waited all day for her cake!!

Yum! Yum!

It sure does feel good to BE 5!!!:)

Especially with lots of cake!!:)

With Hermione, Ron and Harry cake toppers, too!:)

Next up….the day he turned 2!:)

And, yeah, mind is blown that she’s already 5!!

Also, for some flashback fun, check out the day she turned 4.


Until next time…

Live life slowit’s the only way to truly savor what you love (and capture it, too!)

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Life is crazy busy and it’s EASY to stay focused on the to-do’s of it all and miss the littlest moments that mean the most. My camera is my tool to slow down, get present and SAVOR the FEELING of moments that I LOVE and that make MY heart HAPPY with JOY.  When busy with my to-do’s and I see something that makes me light up with a big smile, I stop, grab my camera (iPhone or SLR – it doesn’t matter because what does matter is that I capture the moment…) and sit back, snap, BE in the moment and SAVOR the FEELING of that LOVE I’m seeing from behind the lens.  And when it comes to my kids, I LOVE to capture WHO they are and what they love, in their current stage of life, so they never, EVER, disconnect from themselves as they grow older, like I did.


It’s very rare these days to see these two sitting down together, playing, without one or the other getting upset.  So when I turned my head to look over to make sure they weren’t getting into trouble, while cleaning up the kitchen, I saw this and quickly grabbed my camera to SAVOR it, even it was for just a minute.

It started out with each of them making their own block creation.

Photo by Renee Yemma |

He inched closer to her and began to share his blocks with her to add on to hers.  Awwww, so nice, Luca!

Photo by Renee Yemma |

Still creating together and still looking content and happy.

Photo by Renee Yemma |

Then he grabs them all and big sis is very, very unhappy.

Photo by Renee Yemma |

Yep, like I said.  It was a minute of sweet, sweet sibling play.   So glad I stopped to SAVOR it.  And, SO glad I have this moment captured to show them just how they kept this mama on her toes with trying to “keep the peace” when they were this age.;)


Until next time…

Capture what YOU love…SAVOR what YOU love!!





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