child of the universe...

>> Saturday, December 17, 2011

saw this on a favorite blog of mine on a day i needed to read it. wanted to post it here so i wouldn't lose it!

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burrnnnnn...

>> Wednesday, November 16, 2011

a conversation between mr. o & i after watching coldplay's interview with ellen:



me: if i were british i would never stop talking...



mr. o: ...you must be british...




i swear, i heard kelso from that seventies show burst out with a big ol' "bbuurrrnnnnn!"


lord...i'll get him for that one! ha!



xo,



a



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just a few pics...

>> Monday, November 14, 2011


just a bit of what we've been up to lately...
ava gets ahold of my phone sometimes and i love seeing what she find to photograph! so cute!

before puss in boots. a fun date!
yep, she got ahold of it again...



ava loves her poppy. these are a couple of my favorite photos ever of them together.


telling poppy secrets. can i hear a collective "awwwwwwwww."


it's been busy. no sign of anything slowing down until mid december. i'm ready for some calm.
a

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trick or treat.

>> Wednesday, November 2, 2011

We had such a fun halloween. this holiday is full of traditions and fun for our family. We spent saturday night out with my dad trick or treating around his neighborhood! of course zac and zoe came along, riding in the golf cart and the kids had an absolute blast trick or treating and talking with all the people!

monday we went out to ricky and christina's for dinner with the family and then the annual trick or treating {sans stroller this year! awesome!} the kids had a blast, we had too much fun with family, and i am always so thankful! halloween just might be my favorite holiday. no stress, all fun, kids all cute and dressed up, and an overdose of yummy candy! yep, it's pretty awesome!

hope you all had a great halloween! now the rollercoaster begins through november and december. lots of sessions, loads of parties and get togethers, & tons of reviews on RMRV! it's gonna be a blast!

a

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let them be little {i heart faces}

>> Tuesday, October 25, 2011

had to enter this one of my little man, hollis, this week for the i heart faces "let them be little"! he is such a cutie and insisted on including his horsie in the photo...how could i resist?! he loves his horsie!




can't wait to see all the entries this week! i'm sure there will be tons of cute ones!

xo,

amanda


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i heart {pink}

>> Monday, October 17, 2011

in honor of breast cancer awareness and all of those affected by this terrible disease, the subject this week at i heart faces is {PINK}. well, that is just right up our alley! with a four year old girl running a muck around the house, you know we are knee deep in pink everything! those of you that read my blog, i know you have seen this photo before. it is a favorite of mine and i love that i get to share it with the i heart faces community on such an important week!




make sure to check out all the other pink-ified entries over at i heart faces and get ready to be inspired!

xo,

a


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the keets.

>> Wednesday, September 28, 2011

my mom decided to get ava three parakeets {which ava has lovingly called "keets" and named "cookie", "blueberry", and "raspberry". interesting choices.} yes, she is spoiled. yes, she loves them. she spent about two hours with bo working with the parakeets trying to train them to sit on her finger. by the time we left, one would sit on her finger. she was so excited and wanted to bring them home! during this two hour training session we had to give the keets a break, it was a lot of training. so ava sat like this in front of the cage and talked to them. it was SO cute! we just laughed and laughed and watched her and listened to her words. "i love you" & "i'm so proud of you." and "my grans got you for me". such simple phrases, but her expressions and hand motions {yes she takes after her mama on that one! lol!} well, it really was just the cutest thing ever!

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the crazy train...

>> Tuesday, September 27, 2011

we are still here...hanging on! life has been a bit crazy lately...we had a fun few days with my cousin & his family & my aunt and uncle, then had a few days recovering! lol! we all stay with my mom when they come and it is a blast to be together. but, it is always nice to get back home! It can be a challenge getting things back to normal after the "spoiling" takes place, though! ha!
then this past week we spent sick, the kids both had ear infections and a shocker diagnosis of strep. they had zero symptoms. crazy. glad i took them to urgent care over the weekend...even though my pediatricians office told me to wait it out {all THREE times i called.... :/ } but everyone is on the mend, ava was back at school today, hollis is acting a bit crazier than usual. i blame it on his 5 days of steroids they prescribed him! so, yes...lots of updates & photos to come from all the fun we've been having around here! {besides the sickness, of course!}
just wanted to check in...so you would know we are still kicking!

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first day jitters...

>> Thursday, August 25, 2011

my girl on her way to her first day of preschool! {sorry for the fuzzy photo...she was bouncing all over the place!!}



it's official. i am now "ava's mom". that is how i will be known for many, many years. i can't believe we are already here.


preschool.


ava did great. she went in, found her cubby, hung up her things, hugged {and tried to kiss} her teacher, miss vickie. looked at me with "that look" i get when she's ready for me to dissapear and sweetly said, "bye, mom"


of course, i made her give me a kiss and a hug and told her to have fun, yes i am that mom. and then i was gone and she stayed. and for 6 hours i had no idea what she was doing.


i missed my first shadow. this is going to take some getting used to.


i had a great day with hollis, although the 7 a.m. wake up call wasn't his favorite thing in the world. i am looking forward to this special time for him and i...but letting go of my little girl is proving to be quite a challenge.


i have all these fears, what if someone is mean to her, what if she gets embarassed, what if she is unkind to someone else, what if she doesn't eat her lunch....well, the truth is i know someone is going to be mean to her at some point and that she is going to have moments of embarassement. and i know i will always be here to hug her and love her and tell her to keep her chin up and keep moving forward.


i feel like that mama bird, pushing my little baby bird out to fly {even though my baby bird seems to be leaping out of the nest head first}. i feel like this is the first major step in letting go. she now has a life outside us. she will make her own friends, her own choices. she will have conversations and encounters i will never know about.


& this scares the shit out of me.


oh, the joys of being a parent!


xo,


a


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my boy...

>> Friday, August 19, 2011

i took a few shots of the kids the other night for a post on the giveaway blog...i was so happy with the images i came away with of my boy. he only gave me a couple minutes, i don't think he was feeling very good, and it was almost bedtime. but hey, you get what you can, or at least that's what i've learned when it comes to shooting my own children...make it fun, come armed with surprises, and when they are done, let them be done. anyway, i can't believe how grown up he looks in these photos and how much of his personality shines through. he was having fun hamming it up a bit for me for sure!

love this one! that sneaky little grin...he must get that from his daddy ;)


my sweetness. he really wanted his horsie in the photos for a bit...who am i to tell him otherwise?! cutie pants!
stinker!!


this was actually the first time i've photographed my own kiddos in a while, especially hollis...he's not a huge fan of the camera these days...i have to say, even though it didn't last long, we had fun together!
xo,

a





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snippety,snip

>> Wednesday, August 17, 2011

my ava girl got her first big girl haircut today...by my gorgeous friend brandi! love her & her darling salon! ava did so good! she sat so still, brandi was shocked. i told her it was because she had a mirror in front of ava...that girl LOVES to look at herself; make faces, anything. cracks me up!


with a towel on her head like mommy does after a shower! she felt SO big!
loved this little booster, totally old school! rocks!

snippety, snip...off went about 3 inches. her hair looks so much better now. so healthy and pretty!

one more thing marked off the list before pre school .seriously, this time next week i'll be packing a lunch for her in her darling hello kitty lunchbox...i don't know if i'm ready...

my sweet girl. trying to prepare myself for letting go a bit.

xo,

a

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my beautiful birthday boy...

>> Monday, August 15, 2011

it's official. the boy is two.
man, it's just not right for them to only be little for such a short time. i want to watch him, listen to him, soak him all in right now, it feels like tomorrow he'll be 18, leaving the nest....i know i have a while, but really, it all passes too quickly. okay, enough mama blubbering, onto the boy's birthday!
donna kept ava overnight saturday, so i had hollis all to myself saturday night and on his birthday sunday. we missed her terribly, but it was super sweet to give him all the attention, have him one on one, and get to spoil him a bit. it was his birthday, after all! we headed out in the morning to buy cake mix for his birthday cake. yes, i am that mom. the one that doesn't make his birthday cake until the day of the party. anyway, he had fun carrying the cake and sprinkles around the store telling everyone he had "cake". such a proud little guy. here he is in the car...reading the instructions on the back of the cake box, i'm sure...


we got home, made the cake, then he went down for a nap. i just love how he is always super happy after a nice nap. loved these sweet pictures of him peeking up at me when he woke up. i'm sure we'll be switching him over to a toddler bed in the near future. these crib pictures make my heart swell a bit.



we spent the afternoon tidying up for the family to come over and watching Rio...for the hundred millionth time {good thing it's a cute movie}. here is hollis playing games waiting for all his favorite people. is it me, or does he look way too grown up here...still has those totally kissable cheeks, though...just like when he was new.


of course, he's wearing his twins hat, sent down to him by his autnie toon toon and uncle phil. he loves it and it's a battle getting it off for baths and betime.


a few of the deocorations...


i don't have any party pics, too busy doing the hostess thing...but i know some family does. i'll get some posted soon so you can see all the action...family, lots of cake, presents, playing outside, and a pinata, of course!!! it was an amazing day. we are so blessed to have this boy.



I had to include a little video of hollis helping stir up his cake. he loves playing in ava's toy kitchen {way more than she ever has}, so getting to help for real, was so fun for him! he was stirring with so much purpose...way too cute!




video

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t.w.o.

>> Friday, August 12, 2011

how in the world can this child {the smaller of the littles} be turning two in just a matter of days?!? seriously feels like yesterday he just arrived a sweet little bundle with a head full of black hair and big blue eyes. the presents and cards have started showing up on the doorstep from family far away and he has had so much fun opening them. and i totally have the best family in the world, there is usually a little sweet treat for ava somewhere in the package! so thoughtful! auntie toon toon and uncle phil sent hollis this awesome twins hat and both of the kids some candy necklaces. if you know my children at all, you know candy is the way straight to their heart! he loves both the hat and the candy. wore them all day. even to the smurf movie tonight. cutie pie. i'm sure i'll be updating with all sorts of birthday fun from the weekend...right now the kids are with my mom and i am baking cupcakes for a small family party to celebrate this boy on sunday.


time flies....

xo,

a

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randomness

>> Thursday, August 11, 2011

one bathroom in a household of 4 should be illegal...i'm just saying...& that's all.

xo,

a

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a little cutesy

so jen introduced me to the most fabulous iphone app...seroiously, this phone is revolutionary!! lol! anyway, you can instantly download and get your iphone pics printed and sent to your house all right there on your phone...it's amazing. so last week an envelope full of the cutest iphone pics ever showed up on my doorstep...i LOVE them! so many summer memories all there in one little white envelope. i looked through them so many times over several days and wanted to find a way to display them. i remembered these cute bow holders my sister in law created from an old frame and some chicken wire and thought it could be cute to try and remake and use for photos...if it would work! ...and it did!!! finally! a fun place to display a collage of magical iphone photos! think i might have to buy the matching frame off my mom and make one for ava's room...i have enough spray paint and chicken wire leftover...why not? she is turning out to be a photo lover just like me!!

if you have an iphone, you must check out postal pix. so simple, quick & easy. and seriously, since my phone has turned into my go to family moments camera...i had to get a few printed asap! thanks for the link, jen! {bo is right...this phone is going to keep costing him $$$ ;) }

xo,

a

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girlfriends...

>> Monday, August 8, 2011

saw this article in a magazine this morning while i was waiting for bo at the retina specialist, or cornea specialist...i can't keep track.

anywyay, it made me miss this girl. made me ponder our friendship and how truly remarkable it really is. how over 24 years and hundreds of miles we have stayed close, like sisters. like there is some sort of invisible force that keeps us together. an unbreakable friendship, a family i am so thankful for and one that i know will last an eternity.

jen emailed me and said that it felt like girls weekend was forever ago. i have to agree. & yes, one day i will blog about that amazing weekend full of laughter, relaxation {yes, i got to lay poolside sans children}, lots of chatting and of course a few {or more} fancy beverages...yes, boone's farm counts as fancy! lol!

this is one of those week i REALLY wish we lived closer. just missing you.

miss you. mean it. xoxoxoxo.

a

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it's getting hot in here...

>> Friday, August 5, 2011

so let's go swimm-m-ing... sydney spent part of the day with us and we decided to head to grans house to spend some time in the pool. we have been hibernating in what feels like a cave for about a week now. it's just too hot to do anything outside. miserable. but the kids are going stir crazy and i seem to have lost all patience {whatever i had}, so off to the pool to get rid of some of that crazy energy!
we had so much fun and sydney is such a sweetie. we love her and were so happy to have her spend some alone time with us! Maddy came and spent a day before i went out of town, so syd had to have her own day, too. ava is trying to talk auntie christina into a spend the time sometime before school starts...she is a very persistent little thing! that's for sure!
ava has come so far this summer in her swimming. she does so well and as long as she has on her goggles is like a little fish. if the goggles come off, we're in trouble. she doesn't like that water in her eyes...can't say i blame her!
here she is in all her mermaid glory!


video

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piggy bank cuteness!

>> Thursday, August 4, 2011

{photo from jen's etsy shop, taken by the fab jen...gotta give credit!!}


my bestie in the whole entire world {yes, the one i went to visit and had a fantastic girls weekend, and have yet to blog about it} has the most fabulous etsy shop where she sells some amazing personalized items as well as other fun things! right now she is having an awesome giveaway on her blog...a personalized mini piggy bank...i'm sure you remember hollis' and and ava's, they are amazing and something we will treasure forever and ever. head over and enter to win, you won't regret it!! she is an incredible artist and never fails to amaze me with her clever and cute designs!! xo, a

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shoes.

>> Wednesday, August 3, 2011

"if you can't be a good example, then you'll just have to serve as a horrible warning."

~catherine aird


i mean seriously...i know i am far, FAR from perfect...but come on!! i have got to do better...this is what i saw tonight {& most nights} as i was walking to the bedroom ready to go to sleep. Thuroughly annoyed at the shoes in the middle of the floor...and then i see mine in the mix. how can i be annoyed when i am part of the problem, not setting the good example.

yep, mom - guilty.

dad - guilty.

ava - guilty.

the only one not guilty in this messy bunch is hollis...well, he didn't have shoes on when we got home tonight, if he did, i'm sure his little darling flippies would be laid out with the rest. i'm a realist, people.

tomorrow's lesson: PUT YOUR SHOES AWAY...when you walk in the door!!!

attending: all 4

on a sweeter note, check out this totally adorable unicorn helmet, complete with yellow horn, rainbow hair, and magical sparkles, from raskullz that showed up today for missy ava. review/giveaway coming up on the giveaway blog later this month!! seriously adorable and totally going to keep that hard head in one piece when learning to ride on two wheels!
and once again, she thanks the mailman. good grief!!
it's been a long day, mama's ready for some sleep.
xo,
a

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little gymnast!

>> Saturday, July 30, 2011

ava had her "watch day" at gymnastics today. It was so cute to see those girls showing off all their moves! only 4 girls today, so they even got to have some extra turns! seriously, i adore watching ava with her little friends and interacting with other adults...so funny to hear the things she says and stories she tells...she has so much personality!

on the beam. she still loves to watch herself in the mirror, so her balancing skills are sort of off a bit! ha!

stretching it out...

and ava showing off her stellar forward rolls...love her comment at the end, silly girl!

video

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cutest.thing.ever.

>> Tuesday, July 26, 2011

ava loves to dance and loves her dance class. there is only one person i think might love it a little bit more...hollis!! today she had her "show off" day at dance. parents and family can come watch, see what the girls are learning...not a recital, but they do have a few cute dances ready for us! ava did so well and totally rocked "on the good ship lollypop", oh yes, she did! after the girls finished their show, their sweeter than sweet instructor gave them all cupcakes and cookies and they got to play and dance for a bit. like a little party! finally, hollis got the chance to let his inner dancer out and show off his moves...they are pretty fabulous, if i do say so myself...of course, he did learn from the best! {and ava's cousins sweetly came to watch ava dance, they are the girls dancing with him! i love watching these kiddos interact with each other. it's so cute!} i hope you're ready for the cutest thing ever to hit the web, oh yes, my boy, in his dancing glory!!


{please excuse all of my laughing, but i was totally shocked at his little free spirit...he is a bit outgoing, but i don't think i knew just how much until today. really, i coudln't believe my eyes...}




video



xo,



a

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bang, bang. choo choo train.

>> Thursday, July 21, 2011

oh yes, i did it. i got my hair did!! and in a last minute decision, i had my stylist {& good friend...if you are in ft worth and need a great stylist/fun salon to go to, let me know!!} cut those bangs we had trimmed to my chin...oh yes, i went all the way, people! i haven't had bangs in over 10 years...i think they are still in shock {my bangs, that is}. they are being a little squirrely...who thought you have to "train" bangs...oh hair, you make me laugh! anyway, i am excited about my new look and wanted to share. i was just so bored with my long, straight, style...was needing a little something different, shake things up a bit...& i'm glad i did...now to train these bad boys ;)


isn't it amazing how wonderful a new hairstyle can make you feel? like a whole new person?! {and seriously, someone else washing your hair is the best feeling in the world...um.hm.}

xo,

a

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prop love {i heart faces}

>> Tuesday, July 19, 2011

oh, props! i just can't get enough! i love incorporating them into my work often, when it is appropriate! i searched for YEARS for a buggy like this one, but gosh, they were all so expensive...so happy to find one {well, my mom found it} at an estate sale at a price i could swallow. i loved using it during this sweet boy's session! gots to love those props!!



isn't he so cute! i had envisioned it out on their property under the trees...but lord, it was windy! so the porch had to work!!

xo,

a

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home.

>> Wednesday, July 13, 2011

well, my mom and i left for vacations the same day. She and Felix drove up to minnesota the same day i took off for kansas. we caravaned through kansas and it was really nice to have a little safety net in case i ran into any issues. i have never drove that distance alone before, so it was a new {and wonderful} experience. anyway, my mom just got back in town late tuesday night and we spent yesterday evening over at her place swimming, eating, watching movies, and running to target! FUN! i am so happy she is back. we spend so much time over there that i have decided her house is an extension of ours. when we are there it is like we are home. i love that feeling. anyway, just a few shots from yesterday morning on the "castle" and last night swimming!

this was too funny. ava kept calling sam in the pool. he would swim out to her and then she and sam would swim back to the steps together! ha! she really did turn into more of a fish while i was gone. she spent a lot of time swimming at her nonna's house with her older cousins and i think she learned a lot by watching them!

the princess in her castle.
swinging.

& more swinging...they love this big swing!

the kids are loving their swingset and i love that it was such a special gift from multiple sets of grandparents for both of their birthdays. we have some pretty amazing family around us!

xo,

a


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