nine

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Taking these photos has become a challenge—you move so damn fast!

This last month was a whirlwind. Your grandparents were here for almost two weeks, which you loved. You had two more teeth pop through and you had a fever of 103.4 during a heat wave, which you didn't love. We swam a bunch, played on the playground a few times, visited friends in Willits, we watched some World Cup games, ate our first tomatoes of the season—not from our garden, yet! You continue to impress me and your dad with what an awesome kid you are. You are curious about the world, but move carefully through it. You are generally a happy baby and are good at communicating. You can recognize the signs for "milk", and "all done" (and get excited when we do them) and we are working on "more," "eat/hungry" and "drink/thirsty." You are still taking 2-3 naps a day and usually wake up once at night, but most nights we get a 7-9 hour stretch before the first wakeup. You are incredibly social, love watching other kids and babies do their thing, love attention, and crawl up to every animal you see. You continue to love food and will typically eat everything we put in front of you.

Current favorite foods: peas, goat cheese, scrambled eggs, banana, avocado, chicken, black beans, broccoli, melon

Current favorite activities: swinging and going down the slide at the play ground, swimming/water play, exploring the contents of the kitchen cabinets

Everywhere we go people comment on how beautiful and adorable you are. Your eyes and your smile get the most love and we couldn't agree more. I sure love being your mama. 

eight // seven // six // five // four // three // two // one

salmon and sardine lakes // sierra buttes day trip

salmon and sardine lakes // sierra buttes day trip

Quick day trip to the Sierra Buttes with my folks last week, where we explored Salmon Lake, picnicked at Lower Sardine and hiked to Upper Sardine. We packed a lunch of homemade sourdough, cheese, avocado, veggies, hummus, apricots, and potato chips. The girl had a blast, and it was fun showing my mom and dad a part of California they had never seen.

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sunset and sunrise on shasta lake

sunset and sunrise on shasta lake

You woke around 4:30, just before first light, the stars shining in our eyes without the rain shell. You were too excited to go back to sleep—how cool to wake up in a tent with mom and dad and a bed for a floor and all of our things within reach!— so I strapped you to my back and we went for a walk in our pjs. It was still and calm and we had the world to ourselves. Just the birds in their trees, the light moving over water, your wide eyes. So pretty that I took mental notes and went back for the camera and we retraced our steps (or my steps, rather). After all, we had hours before anyone else would be awake.

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summer babe

summer babe

Last week was hot enough to fill up the steel tub for this water baby, and the joy was palpable. Jeffery has worked tirelessly growing our garden from seed, prepping the soil, laying drip, and almost everything is in, so I wanted to be sure to document it while the babies are still small. Everyone looks forward to evenings in the garden together—kitties included! We're going to be doing a lot more of this all summer long. 

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mama's day

mama's day

Yesterday evening while daddy planted the vegetables, we sat in the shade of a cedar tree and observed our little backyard world—puffy white clouds against a blue blue sky; bees navigating the bristly petals of the bottlebrush; some flowers dropping petals, others on the edge of bloom; kitties coming and going—and as long as you had something to chew on, you were perfectly content in my lap for hours.

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seven

seven

Glorious, glorious child. What I didn't realize a couple months ago when I was feeling sad about time moving so fast, was that even though each stage comes to an end, it is replaced by something even more spectacular.

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turning thirty

turning thirty

On a rainy day last week, Ella and I were cuddling in bed after her nap and she was playing with my hands. Her dimpled, tiny, six-month-old hands against my almost 30-year-old hands. It got me thinking about the passage of time and the enormous growth that takes place over a decade.

In our first ten years we go from a tiny helpless babe to a freethinking, active, wiry, curious, fifth grader. We learn to smile. We learn to speak and to read, we learn the names for all things. We learn how to order off a menu, how to throw a ball, how to apologize. We learn about friendship and family. We learn about home and about the world. We learn to play and to laugh, to negotiate, to bake cookies, and to use our imaginations. 

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