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Summer is here and I’ve been neglecting this blog again.

We’re in the beginning stages of potty training with Catalina. For the most part, she just likes playing with the toilet paper.

Our garden is exploding. When we transplanted everything in June, I wasn’t sure that anything would actually grow considering my history with plants (and them committing suicide on me!).
But then this happened!

Just slightly overgrown! Rico wants a larger plot for next year so we can expand 🙂

I photographed my first live birth. It was a scheduled C-section and the doctors were great and let me into the operating room to photograph everything. It was incredible and I wish I could commit more time to this genre. Unfortunately, with the new job and the commute, I can’t be on call like I could when I was with Emerald Downs.

I photographed 4 weddings as a 2nd shooter. One of which was had this incredible view!

Rico transformed one of the cabinets into a chalkboard wall. The top is a menu board for us and the bottom is a chalkboard for Catalina to play with.

On Friday, I drove out to Mt Rainier for a star photography class.
It started with sunset at Tipsoo Lake.

Before the stars could make an appearance, we got this view.

Then the clouds you see in the picture rose out of the valley and headed straight for us. We took shelter in our cars, hoping it would blow past relatively quickly. Not so much. Lightning, thunder, hail and winds. I do have to admit, sleeping my car is more comfortable than I anticipated it would be. The stars finally made an appearance about 3:30am for about 15 minutes.

The clouds came back and obscured sunrise so we explored a little.

We’re going camping next weekend. Our first trip with Catalina so this should be interesting. We also have a cabin trip planned for September with Nana Erika. We might be glutton for punishment but we’re going to attempt Great Wolf again for our birthdays. Though for mine, I requested a date night out in Seattle so I can photograph the new ferris wheel they’ve added to the sky line.

The new job is going good. A lot of getting used to. My commute went from 10-15 minutes to an hour. I now take the Sounder train into Seattle and take a short bus ride up to Union where I work. I’m also doing payroll for 8 different companies so it’s a lot more workload than I was doing. Era has been really great and welcoming.


Fun in the Sun!

While the East Coast is getting soaked, we are thankful for our week-long stretch of warm sunny weather.  Usually we have to wait until July 4th before it clears but apparently the sun gods arrived almost 2 weeks early this year.  Hopefully that doesn’t mean they leave earlier than mid-September.  While it would absolutely amazing to have air conditioning, we’ve done our best to keep cool with trips to the park, a blow up water island pool and Rico made a “kid wash” in our backyard.  It’s more like an adult mister because Catalina doesn’t like cold water, lol.  But it will be fun when we have Aiden’s 5th birthday at our house.

Catalina was fascinated by the baby pigs.

She was not impressed by the bigger animals though.

Father’s Day 2013

We took a mini family vacation to Seaside/Cannon Beach, Oregon last week.  It was a long trip and Catalina decided she didn’t want to sleep in the car despite it being her nap time.  Surprisingly, it wasn’t too bad and we only ha to make 1 stop each way.  Snacks helped make the trip pass quickly.  We went mid-week so the beach wasn’t busy at all – definitely much more fun to actually let Catalina run around without having to worry about tripping over people or loosing sight of her.  So worth taking a few days off of work to avoid the summer tourists!

Her hiding spot at the hotel.

Playing at the arcade

She ran in circles around the arcade for over an hour – luckily, it wasn’t busy so she had all the freedom she could want.

While we were at the hotel breakfast, the only high chair was taken.  So Little Miss got to sit in a chair by herself and now she doesn’t want to sit in her chair at home anymore.  She’s learned to climb up into the chair and wait for food!

Mish Mash of photos

The gardening bug hit me this year so we decided to try our hand at a few fruits and vegetables.

We’ve got squash, zucchini, tomatoes (cherry, roma & grape), strawberries and an abundance of hot peppers – I’ll give you one wild guess who picked what in that line up! We did have snow peas and cucumbers but they both died when I transplanted them.

And our fence is now finally fixed & replaced.

We even have our first fruits of the season! Catalina and I picked/enjoyed these yesterday 🙂

We headed down to Fort Steilacoom yesterday to enjoy the weather. The park was super crowded but luckily, there was still plenty of space for her to run around and explore and hang out with Nana.

This girl sure does love her some swings!

I was even able to convince everyone to get a few family shots in before we left for the day 🙂

One of the girls at daycare had her toes painted so I decided to attempt Catalina’s. It actually didn’t go too bad. She already doesn’t mind too much having her nails clipped. Polish, though she’d have to sit still and not touch it. I had some quick drying polish so that’s what we used. And she’s fascinated with this. She walked around looking at her toes for a good hour!

Catalina also loves helping momma clean! She follows me around with the dust pan when I sweep and then she stole the broom from me!

We’re also working on sungasses since she loves ours. She won’t keep them on though for more than a couple seconds.

May Play

And a few left over from the superhero party – taken by John & Stacey

My little assistant!

She’s becoming quite a chatterbox. I don’t know what she says half the time but we’re catching a few new words.

Choo Choo Train
KiKi (kitty cat)
Uh Uh (and shakes her head)
eese (Cheese)
AHHHH (when we say it’s time to brush your teeth)

Can point to her:
belly button

Sleeps in a “big girl bed” now instead of her crib. This was great the first 2 nights before she realized that she could climb out of her bed and play. Now it takes her about 1-1/2hrs to go to bed. It doesn’t help that it’s still light outside when we put her down.

Chooses her outfits and shoes – I offer options and she picks which one she wants to wear.

Loves to unzip and take off her jacket and shoes. She’s trying incredibly hard to figure out how to put each back on too.

Spring is here to tease us with gorgeous weather. It’s been in the mid 70s all week and this past weekend, it hit lower 80s. It supposed to remain warm and sunny until next weekend. 3 of the 4 newly planted trees in our yard are thriving! I doubt we’ll have fruit (1 apple & 2 cherry trees) on them this year but at least they’ll be pretty. I’ve also got bell peppers, tomatoes, hot peppers, zucchini & squash seedlings started inside. As soon as my handyman husband builds the raised garden, we’ll transfer them outside. My snow peas have already died but I figure if I get any vegetables this year, I’m doing good!

Saturday, after Gymboree class, we headed to the beach for a photo op with John & Stacey and the kids. Stacey wanted some shots of Chloe in her Batgirl tutu. It turned out to be a gathering of SuperHeros! Zombie Slayer/Super Girl Catalina, SuperConnor & BatGirl Chloe.

On Sunday morning, Catalina woke up around 6am and wanted to play. So we set up her new water/sand table.

You can kind of see the new fence in the background too. We’re loving having a completely enclosed yard. Before, Catalina liked to try to walk toward the street. With the new fence, we don’t have to worry about that anymore!

Spring Time!


We were invited to Chloe’s 2nd birthday party at Bullwinkle’s Family fun center. After pizza and a few bites of cake, we exhausted some energy in the play gym.

Spring has sprung and even though there was frost on my windshield this morning, I’ve had a blast testing out my new lens.

Yes, I know it’s a weed but it was the only thing worth shooting that day.

Then the weeping cherry tree bloomed.

This past weekend, Amanda and I made our annual trip up to the tulip fields. We got there before sunrise but unfortunately it was super cloudy and threatened to rain the whole time.

That same afternoon – after I took a much needed nap during Catalina’s nap time, we ventured over to the newly built hospital where they have a cool playground.


Macro Love!

Over on my business page, Southern Exposures by Cassie, I’m showing off some macro love.

I broke out my new macro lens yesterday, in between Easter photos of Catalina. I can’t wait to use this baby on some newborns!