Celebrate: 21 Months*

20140408-171329.jpg20140408-171544.jpg20140408-171604.jpg20140408-171619.jpg20140408-172142.jpg20140408-172200.jpg20140408-172206.jpg20140408-172212.jpg20140408-172223.jpg20140408-172235.jpg20140408-172245.jpg20140408-172305.jpg20140408-190001.jpg20140408-172345.jpgA sizzling day in southern California to celebrate 21 months of our little lad! We headed to Arroyo Burro (also known here in Santa Barbara as Hendry’s Beach) and took in some rays at lunchtime, skimming the surface of the waves with our toes, running through the sand, and enjoying frosty milkshakes. Arroyo Burro is barely a 5-minute drive from our house, and yet we always seem to neglect it in favour of other farther-flung destinations — a mistake we are not likely to repeat: it’s pretty much picture-perfect. A scenic drive after lunch, followed by a stop at our local farm (we got fresh organic strawberries, Bacon avocados, Ojai pixie tangerines and limes– prime season), baseball practice and a family swim in the pool before dusk… it seems that life with Reed is always reason enough to celebrate.

XO,

N&N

 

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And then: FIVE

Finn_5thBday.35As 2013 winds to a close, we’re catching up on our favourite photo shoots of the year. Finnlagh’s 5th birthday party was a swashbuckling extravaganza, complete with pirate scavenger hunt, maps, and buried treasure on the beach. For a creative soul like Finnlagh, it seemed just the thing to fire up his imagination and sail us all away on a birthday adventure with him.

We love you so much, darling boy. Thank-you for approaching every day with a bright start and bringing all those around you a fresh perspective on fun and merriment. Dearest, sweetest little lad: five.

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Monday’s Moment

A single moment captured in a photograph. Candid and fleeting, this will always be a special moment in timeā€¦

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Reed_Galveston2013.1There is nothing so glorious as a day at the seaside! The smell of the salty air, the waves lapping against the shore, and the uproarious laughter that erupts each time you skim a wave. Last Monday on Galveston Island, located in the immense Gulf of Mexico, I dare say that there were no happier children than our own. Alina and Finnlagh spent hours digging, gathering water, splashing in the surf and absolutely screeching with sheer delight. Reed practiced standing and taking steps on his own, all the while making miniature footprints at the water’s edge, caught by surprise on more than one occasion by a miscalculated wave. It appears that making sense of powdery sand is as challenging as ever to a young baby, and feathery tufts of wet baby hair standing straight up is still precious beyond words, at least to us.

I was quite fortunate to grow up surrounded by water, with the Long Island Sound and Atlantic Ocean a mere stone’s throw away – Coney Island, Jones Beach…summer’s daily ritual involved intensely hot beaches, sleepy sun-soaked car rides in our bathing suits and terry cloth robes along with a host of surf accoutrements, coolers, sunscreen and flip flops dangling off our feet. Even now as an adult, I’d turn down months on end at the pool for a day at the beach, anytime. When we came home to Austin, I asked the older children if they wanted to go for a swim (our complex has a lovely outdoor pool) and they looked down at the floor and shrugged. “I guess,” Alina said. “It’s not the same,” added Finnlagh. All the more reason to create more childhood memories at the seashore, n’est-ce pas?

*A special note: Today we are celebrating Memorial Day in the United States. While it always seems to mark the unofficial start of summer – a long week-end of bbq cookouts, swimming and get togethers, it is a day devoted to honouring those who fought for our country and lost their lives. Let us say ‘thank-you’ to those who bravely defended this land, and all the freedoms and landscapes in it.