Decker has come so far in his swimming since his first lesson one and a half months ago! I literally had to pry him off of me while he was screaming when we showed up for our first lesson. He is now a little fish and continues to improve each week. I’m so proud of him!

thomas the train









i flew with a toddler…and survived

I’ve been meaning to write this post forever, but never got around to it until now. Last year, we flew across the country to visit Scott’s family in Georgia. Decker was 2 1/2 at the time and it was his first plane ride. We were pretty nervous about the logistics of it all but it ended up being a pretty successful trip. Here’s a few tips I followed and found helpful.

1. If you can afford the extra ticket, bring the car seat on board. This was definitely the biggest dilemma we faced. Interestingly, the majority of advice I got from others was to check the car seat because it was too much of a hassle to lug around the airport. Based on the fact that we would be flying for more than 5 hours, we decided to bring the car seat on the plane. We have a Britax Marathon 70 and it was super simple to get it strapped into the airplane seat. Strapped in his car seat, there was no way Decker was going to get up and he was used to having to stay in the car seat. He also was able to sleep both ways on the flight. Before you fly, figure out what type of plane you will be on and make sure your car seat will fit in the seats. I found this group very helpful during the planning process. Also, our car seat would not fit through the security scanner, so we had to get it hand inspected each time.


2. Make sure to bring plenty of entertainment and snacks…basically, whatever will keep the kid occupied. We brought an iPhone with games to help keep Decker occupied while at the airport. On board, we had a portable DVD player and toddler-sized headphones, iPad, plus snacks. Luckily, he fell asleep while watching his DVD.

3. Get to the airport EARLY! On the way there, we got to the airport and the lines were super long. We had to rush to the gate and were one of the last ones to board. If you have your car seat and need to get it strapped into the airplane seat, you really want to be able to board early when they call for those traveling with little ones.

4. Get a portable luggage cart to transport the car seat. There are actually specific contraptions made to allow you to wheel your car seat through the airport, but unless you fly frequently, they’re not worth the money. Instead, I ordered this luggage cart and it was perfect for transporting the car seat, plus it allowed us to store extra stuff in the seat. The cart folds up easily and can be stored underneath the airplane seat.

5. Bring a portable stroller and check it at the gate. This tip should be filed under common sense, but you definitely don’t want to be chasing your toddler around the airport.


The car seat attached to the luggage cart with a bungee. We were also able to store one of our carry-on bags in the seat. And Decker in his stroller in the background occupied by his iPhone!

Last tip: If all else fails, order a drink and remember that the plane ride will come to an end eventually!

Linking up for Mommy Monday and Party on the Porch

july 2014 | letters to my children

Dear Decker,

Oh, my rambunctious little boy! I’m lovingly referring to the current stage you’re in as your “threenager years,” meaning that you can be moody and defiant one minute, yet so smart, sweet and inquisitve a minute later. You seem to have neverending amounts of energy, which means that you keep your dad and me on our toes at all times. Even though the age of three has proven itself to be quite challenging for us as parents, we know you are growing up and gaining a sense of independence. Part of us is proud that you challenge us (even though it makes us want to pull our hair out) because it’s a sign that you know how to assert yourself and that you stand up for yourself. As you grow older, I hope this is something we can help cultivate and instill in you.

P.S.: Jumping on the bed is only allowed when I have my camera in hand.

Love forever and always,




Please visit Ashley’s blog to read her letter to her sweet children, and then continue through the circle until you get back here.

Letters To My Children is a monthly blog circle project I participate in, along with a group of fabulous mother photographers. I alternate my letters every other month between my son and daughter. You can see more of my letters to my children here.

2014 the lovely everyday / week 28

A collection of everyday captures from last week. Haven’t been inspired much lately to get out my DSLR, so most of these were taken with my iPhone. Trying to pick up my big girl camera more this week!








Baby girl is starting to smile | We got to spend some time at my brother’s lake house, which was welcome in this hot Seattle weather | Meme rocking Kressa to sleep | Decker and Daddy playing Candyland (Decker won, of course.)

Please visit Bianca’s blog to see her lovely everyday images, then continue on through the circle until you get back here.

The Lovely Everyday is my version of a 365 photography project. I strive to shoot an image every single day with my DSLR, but sometimes, it just doesn’t happen. So instead, my goal is to capture as much of our life as possible, no matter what. 


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