June 29, 2011


I'm officially 30. Does it mean that the countdown for 'the rest of my life' has begun? Somehow I didn't discover any magical transformations (butterfly wings, maybe?) on the morning of my birthday, when I got up at 11:30 a.m. (thanks to Mark staying home, taking care of kids and letting me sleep in). Just like Mark said in his post earlier (which was a huge surprise :), I'm simply one day older and I still don't feel all that *grown-up*. Just taking it one day at a time, finding my place, working on my goals, struggling, learning and enjoying this little life I have.

I had a beautiful day with my friends and family. Mark was home all day and only worked while Ivy was taking a nap. Then, in my typical spontaneous fashion, I decided to have some friends over for ice-cream. I'm all for other people planning ahead, making invitations and having well-organized parties. But when it comes to our own, low-key is my mantra. No gifts, no birthday cakes, just people we love and enjoy spending time with. And that's exactly how we spent our evening, chatting away, with babies crawling around, kids running and playing games, slapping mosquitoes and meeting new friends, long after the sun went down.

(huge thanks to Katrina, who picked up my abandoned camera and took most of the photos. I was too busy enjoying everyone's company :)

(this was taken when it was pretty dark outside, my poor old Nikon did the best it could at ISO 500)

Annie the Warrior (with running injury no less), being her usual gorgeous self, crutches and all. And her little boy with a pair of matching mini-crutches nearly made me fall over when I saw them walking into our backyard.

looks like Anya was showing off her new mosquito bites here...

yes, there's always a child or two swarming around my lap, looking for a sweet spot to land on. If that's not love, then I don't know what it is.

June 24, 2011


I've been loving the month of June here in UT for the past 3 years, rainy and cool (but not cold), just my kind of weather. We went to the farm for Father's Day, and the view was incredible. I stepped out of the car and didn't set my muddy feet into the house for half an hour, until I was done taking photos outside. It was good timing too. Just 3 days later, summer was in full swing, with 85 degrees inside the house (and no working swamp cooler yet).

Next time we go to the farm we'll see a different kind of beautiful, with sage brush and sunflowers taking charge of the land.

(I know my camera is in desperate need of cleaning...)

June 21, 2011

Life happens

I'm trying a new thing to make sure I can document our life more consistently. Instead of trying to lump my photos into a themed post (which is ok when it's about something like a hike, visit or some other event), I am going to embrace the randomness of our daily life and not be afraid to be random here as well. Because in reality, our life consists of a myriad of random moments that happen throughout the day, every day. Trying to tie them together into one post with some deep meaningful title to go along with it is what often overwhelms me, takes too much time and causes me to not document those things after all. And since I'm a visual person, photos often are the reason I want to post about something, as opposed to writing a story with a few photos to support it.

I hope this will help me to not leave out those small snippets of our life that make it real for us. Because years from now, those small things will be essential in making our memories more vivid and real to us.


'Tis the season of Farmer's Market! We literally had been counting down the days, waiting for the opening Saturday. And then it happened. And the place was as crowded as ever, even with our 'early' appearance (by our standards, it's before 11 a.m.). It's not easy to take all 4 kids into a crowded place like our downtown Farmer's market, but with 2 of them on our backs and the other two being old enough to stay close, we usually manage to pull it off.

As a reward, we often get to hear local talent performing live music. Some guys are dedicated enough to haul an amazing old piano on a small trailer attached to their bike. They definitely know what they are doing, and it's pretty fascinating to see and hear them play.


Our herbs are still alive, well, most of them anyway. Not necessarily looking strong and healthy, but good enough to keep us watering them. And I do love the fact that I can just go out the back door and get some fresh rosemary while cooking some vegetables to go on top of polenta.


Ivy got into her head that she can't just sit on my lap when I'm trying to read something on the computer. Somehow she always ends up on top of the desk. She thinks it's a pretty neat trick and doesn't understand why on earth would I not want her to do it.


We are losing our battle with laundry. I wash it, we fold as much as we can, then somehow everything gets unfolded and scattered all over the floor, or maybe the laundry multiplies with some help from house elves. No matter what we do, it always ends up looking like this, most of the days. Some day, when we live in a house with more than 2 bedrooms, I'll reserve a room just for the laundry, where it can go wild, roaming about, without living in fear of getting contaminated with oatmeal or smashed banana.


I am *this* close to turning 30, and it makes me think all kinds of deep thoughts, look at myself, ask myself question. And it's not scary at all, because it helps me see things that make me happy and things I need to work on. In the end, life is good.

June 19, 2011

More than words...

Instead of writing a lengthy post about all the 174,387 amazing qualities that Mark possesses as a Dad (and husband), I'll post a tiny fraction of photos taken over the past 7 years, showing what kind of dad he is. I think it's pretty easy to tell, don't you?

working hard in the backyard

not sleepy

June 13, 2011

Celebrating Life and Love

She turned 1 and We turned 9.

We didn't throw a fancy birthday party (anyone who knows me, also knows that's I'm the last person to do it. I did manage to throw together a gluten-free rhubarb cobbler, if that counts). We just did our best to smile, laugh, and provide unlimited amounts of love for the little person who didn't even suspect she just turned one. I stayed up late enough to be awake during the exact time when Ivy entered this world, read her birth story and shed a few tears of joy. Joy is her middle name, and she's living up to it every single day, even when she spends a good deal of her time clinging to my leg and wiping her nose on my freshly laundered clothes.

from this:

to this:

Anya was sharing her imaginary cookie, Ivy enjoyed every single bite of it

Then, just 3 days later, Mark and I celebrated our 9th wedding anniversary. NINE years. Really? We are one of THOSE couples who've been married, for like, forever and now has a house full of kids? I used to think families like ours looked so 'grown-up', and now we are one of those families, and I still don't feel like 'them'. It's been a fun ride so far, with it's ups and downs, but in the end, absolutely worth it. We've been growing together, laughing together, discovering who we are in our daily lives. It's hard work, and I am constantly filled with gratitude knowing that I get to do it all with Mark, my friend, love and eternal companion.

We've been enjoying hiking all these years, before we got married, after, and even while having little babies in our midst. So it was only natural that we decided to go on a hike/trail run for our anniversary date. It was raining. In other words, it was perfect.

happy 9(!) years to us