Apple Picking

Couple of weeks ago I took Payton up to Oak Glen for some apple picking. We needed a relaxing day. It's been crazy around here. Still trying to get settled and situated and I decided to go off and join CrossFit for some crazy reason. (Ok actually, I kinda like it, most days :) I still haven't sorted our road trip pics or anything :( Anyhoo. It was nice to soak up some sunshine with Miss P.

I'm still not sure when she skipped toddler and turned into my amazing little girl.

And she's done. I love our little adventures together.

Happy Halloween 2012

Last Friday we took Payton to Mickey's Halloween Party at Disneyland. She really understands the holiday's this year so it was a ton of fun. She couldn't decide what she wanted to be so Gram made her a pirate costume. Payton loved it.

Disneyland was a ton of fun as usual. Payton danced with Chip and Dale and rode her first real roller coaster. Big Thunder Mountain. She saw the Choo Choo train and wanted to go. I figured she clears the height requirement by a good couple inches so what the hey? She'll love it or it will be the last Choo Choo she rides for a while. Well, she LOVED it. We also hit a couple kiddy rides and Star Tours. She really enjoyed all the rides. I think she might just be my best Disneyland buddy yet. Lets not forget about Rapunzel!!! 

The entire drive to Disneyland, while parking, tram ride and into the park. 'Mommy lets go see Rapunzel, Mommy lets go see Rapunzel' it was on constant repeat. So, that was the first stop so we were good the rest of the night.

Payton talked my dad into going and dressing up like Indiana Jones :) I think he had fun. Hey, free candy and not just for the kids! 

More princesses. I really tried hard not to really encourage the princess stage but I guess it's the whole rebelling thing. But she loves her fair share of Peter Pan and the pirates too so... It's manageable. I'm just embracing it now. :) 

We were looking forward to the Halloween fireworks but the Santa Ana winds decided to join us and we missed out :(

But the parade carried on and was fun too. We had a great time and think we might have a new Halloween tradition. And it may include group costumes next year because wow, these people go way out and have amazing costumes. 


Emily's First Birthday

I love being back home and getting to be there for family and friends' special events. Last weekend we went to San Diego to celebrate Emily's first birthday and I had the pleasure to capture it. 

Emily is just the daintiest, sweetest little thing. 

She wasn't a huge fan of her accessories.

The relationship between her and her older brother Owen is adorable.

She tried sharing her cake with anyone within reach, especially Owen.

I adore her sweet expressions.

Her little cousin's smile stole my heart.

Owen with his daddy. Pure sweetness.

This little guy was so tired but his mother's patience and love captured me.

Happy Birthday little Emily!



I'm laying in bed typing this on my phone, should be asleep because our furniture is arriving bright and early. Today Payton started ballet. I was going to wait and post about it chronologically after our road trip recap but by then, I may not remember every detail that made today special, the beginning of our new journey.

Ever since I found out I was having a girl, I could not wait to get her dance shoes and put her in dance. I dreamt about it all the time. Dance was my life until I joined the Coast Guard and can't wait to finish healing so I can pick back up. I won't force Payton to dance, but I figured it wouldn't hurt her to try. She has awesome rhythm and already performs so...

(yay blurry phone photos... eh oh well)

We woke up this morning and asked her if she wanted to go to ballet 'yes, I'm a ballerina' my heart melted. She got all dressed ready to go. She was excited, I was an anxious wreck. The best part is her teacher is one of my favorite tap teachers from back when. When class was ready to start the teacher took Payton by the hand and walked her into the studio and placed her at the bar. Payton looked so comfortable like she was meant to be in there. She did her plies and twirled and pointed her toes. Yes, I was on the verge of crying. The happy kind though. For the most part she listened and followed directions. As much as you can expect from her first structured lesson. I'm so proud of her for trying something new and not being afraid. However, if I get this emotional over ballet, I'm a goner next year when she starts tap.


On The Move

Monday marked the beginning of a new adventure for Payton and I. I'm officially a civilian now, and we're moving back to California. It's very bittersweet for me. The past six years in the Coast Guard and (almost) three years have been an interesting ride and looking back on it all amazes me. How much Payton and I went through, good and bad. How much she's grown into a little girl, how much I've even grown as a mom and every other role I have. As excited I am to move on with our life and move to California, I am extremely sad. All our memories we made in Virginia with our military family. They were so much more than just friends to us. You were there for us and let us be there for you. I am eternally grateful for you and can't wait to see you all again. (I may be secretly praying you guys all get stationed back on the west coast :)

Monday the movers came and our stuff is now on its way west. Payton worked very hard. Her job: make sure they don't pack the iPad.

We're driving cross country with my mom. I'm excited. My mom drove with me to Virginia to check me into my first real unit and she gets to come on this journey again. Only with a mini me too :) We're taking our time visiting family and seeing random places we probably wouldn't otherwise.

Thank goodness for ipad mounts and Tangled.

Monday night we didn't get too far but Tuesday made it to Georgia.

As of Wednesday, still in GA but we did some sightseeing to break up the monotony of constant driving.


Another Maxi

I finally got around to making Payton another maxi dress. Remember last year's? And the tutorial here. I'm sloooowwly getting more confident to make Payton things with out a pattern. So here goes round two of a maxi. I had a concept and design and went with it. I'm hoping to make another soon and maybe a tutorial with it. It's not a full length maxi. But if I made it to the floor, she would be on the floor. Payton isn't the most graceful. But it's still a fun length.

I found this super soft knit in Orange County a few weeks back and had to have it. 

She found the grapevine in my parents' backyard. 

And proceeded to smell them... they don't smell sweetheart. Sorry.

My favorite for last. 


Tutorial: A Shirt Dress

So, recently I noticed on one of Payton's shirts two little slits in the hem. I asked Payton if she used scissors and she looks down and points at them and said "yes, see, cut." Great.

Ok so easy fix. It was getting a little short on her anyways. I've seen quite a few 'turn a shirt into a dress tutorial' and I didn't feel like sifting through them. (Although there are some good ones.) I just winged it and here's how:

:: You will need two t-shirts (one that fits your child in the top and an adult sized) I used a 4t and a women's medium. 

Measure from your child's underarm to where you would like the dress to fall. Depending on how big of a ruffle you want and how long your adult shirt is, will depend on how far down to cut the {pink} shirt. Make sure to measure and cut from the hem up for the ruffle. Yay no hemming!

Gather the top of the mid section and size it to the bottom of the {pink} shirt. Sew or serge right sides together. Do the same for the ruffle to the bottom of the mid section. Tip: if you're sewing instead of serging, use a stretch stitch.

Iron your seams down and topstitch. I used a regular straight stitch on this part and it turned out okay but I would use a stretch stitch next time. 

And voila! 

Best pics I could get. Hopefully only 3 more weeks of crutches....



The last day in Boston, we took a little trip up to Gloucester. There's just something that I love about that small fishing town. I got to spend a couple weeks there and in Rockport back in 2001. There is a little bit of family history there from my dad's side and with it being a small town, kinda feel like I'm around family even though I didn't know many of them. I know, weird. Anyways, I just like the feel of the town. I'm sure if I was there and it was snowing, I would be singing another tune. We didn't go too far into the town, mostly walked on the waterfront and had a yummy lunch at a local brewery.

We did adventure down to the beachy area. (Not like a California beach) Payton was really excited to get out of the stroller and go to the water. Until her toes got about four feet from the sand. Then she did this:

Made a 180 and booked it over those rocks. Those aren't dancing arms folks. Those are her power walking arms (she couldn't run at the time) I'm thinking her my dream for her of being a beach volleyball player might need to be altered a smidge if this keeps up. I'll give her another year, or five :)

Jen & Cheryl

Oh look, more pouting. Shocking lol.

Payton kept going back and forth to all the monuments and read all the fishermen's names. Oh and going to the railing in between and trying to look into the water at the fish. Needless to say she kept all three of us adults on our toes. Thank you Cheryl and Jen for a wonderful trip! 


Old Ironsides

As I said yesterday, I have a few posts to catch up on. I still have two from our Boston trip to go. Today I'm sharing about the day we went to the USS Constitution. 

Payton kept looking for Capt Hook and Mr Smee... and when we couldn't find them...

Yep, the pouting again. 

She eventually cheered up :)

She may have been taught to puff her cheeks and push on them to blow on you :)