Happy Friday

I can't believe I've been away from the blog for so long. I honestly don't know how that happened. We've had some crazy days lately. Days where you think "there's no way anything else could possibly go wrong". I'm hoping for a fun week ahead since it's my last full week at home with Amelia before she marches off to school. I have a packed agenda for us; garage sale at our house all weekend, school clothes shopping, school supply shopping, visits to my grandma and a whole lot of fun. I also have two photo shoots next week which I'm really excited for. Here is a recap of the past week or so with a lot of Amelia photos...

Uniform school shopping started. I have more to get for her, but this was a good start. I have to say I was slightly disappointed with the quality of Old Navy's polos. I'm usually a fan of Old Navy, but their uniform polos were so thin. Thankfully Gap outlet was having an awesome sale and we got most of her stuff there. Monday we are going down to a uniform shop in Portland to pick up her school plaid stuff. I love uniforms. 

My sisters and I had lunch at an awesome taco cart (owned by Erica's co-worker). The food is so awesome that the cart itself is worthy of it's own post one day... perhaps that is just an excuse for me to stop again. The best part is that it's only a few minutes from my grandma's house. 

 Amelia made herself a sweet fort. Can you find her? When I went in there she wasn't peeking out and scared me to death when she said "hi, mommy".

 We spoil this man a lot.

 Amelia and I needed a break yesterday from cleaning and garage sale prep. Blended mocha for me and a cherry snowie for her.

 An awesome thing happened this weekend. I shot my first wedding. I was so nervous and excited. It went really well and I'm happy with the shots I got. Erica was there to help me. It was nice having her there.

 We started our bedtime routine this week. Amelia has never had a bed time so this is new for us. The first night sucked, but the second was awesome. Again, more on this in another post.

 So cute!

 My almost 91 year old grandma fell and has a compound break in her back. My mom came down to stay with her and help her out. Amelia got to go spend the day with them and Erica and was as happy as can be. She loves hanging out with her grandmas and aunts.

 I had to have some blood drawn this week so we hung out with Mark on his lunch break. He works at the hospital on the same campus as my doctor.

 Brownie got her blood drawn also.

Happy weekend all! We will be spending our time selling our stuff and having Amelia's first lemonade stand. 
Ashley Elizabeth

Where is my "pause" button?

I feel like I'm on a bullet train that's speeding through summer. Maybe it's because Amelia is getting ready to start school, but I've never dreaded the end of summer before in my life, until now. Fall is my favorite season. I always look forward to it, but this year I dread it's arrival. In 3 weeks my girl will be starting kindergarten. Not just half day kindergarten, but full days. Amelia is growing up too fast and I find myself both incredibly sad at the quick transformation and in complete awe at how amazing she is. People always tell new moms that the time goes by so fast. That you'll blink and your kids will be grown up and off to school. That's my life right now and I'm afraid that if I blink again she will be starting high school. If only we could keep them little forever. I'm still trying to cram in as much as possible before that first school bell rings. The past few days I pushed work to the side and focused on making fun memories with my family. And while the remainder of the cucumbers that I had planned to can started to mold, and my bedroom is a disaster and there is laundry to wash... I'm grateful for days like we've had. Days where we step away from the constant hustle and bustle of a busy life and just enjoy our daughter. After all, they're only little for a short time.

Ashley Elizabeth

Sunsets, canning and celebrations

I've had such a productive week. I love weeks that end with my feeling accomplished.

Grace, Chris, Mark, Amelia and I went up into the hills this week to watch the sunset. It was a gorgeous night out. We set up our camp chairs and just hung out. Fun times. 

I had two family photo shoots this past weekend. Even though it was hot out, I'm happy with the shots I got. This is one of my favorite photos from the weekend. I babysat Ben and he couldn't ask for better parents. They would do anything for their son. 

This little guy turned 1. Holden is such a sweet boy and I loved babysitting him. I started watching him last October when he was just 2 months old, and I can't believe he is one. He's been walking for a few months now and is definitely a fun, active little man. 

Mark and I celebrated 3 years of marriage this week. We've had our ups and downs, but I love this man so much and I'm lucky I get to spend the rest of my life with him. 

When I say I had a productive week, I mean it. I have taken a serious liking to canning and have been busy every day this week getting stuff done. I canned green beans, peach & mango salsa, cherry jam and pickles. I have a 25 pound bag of carrots, a lot more pickling cucumbers and about 30 more pounds of cherries to do as well, on top of a long list of other things I hope to get done. Amelia has been so helpful, snapping beans and drying fruit. 

Next week I have major school shopping to do. We haven't picked up a single thing for Amelia yet. Her supply list is relatively small and since she will be wearing uniforms we don't have to shop all over for clothes. She is so excited and I'm a little sad. I know I will have plenty to do while she is at school, but I'm going to miss that girl so much. I'm sure she will love school, and full day kindergarten will be good for her. I've been looking for a few day trips to make with her before she starts school. I had a huge list of things I wanted to do with her, but with vacation and our move it would appear that summer is getting away from me. It's crunch time and I want to pack in as much as possible. 

This weekend we were supposed to go camping, but last minute (as in when we were supposed to be hitting the road), we changed our minds. We took a drive up into the hills last night though and saw the most gorgeous view and sunset. 
 Happy weekend! I hope you are enjoying the last few weeks of summer. 
Ashley Elizabeth

Who says cats can't FaceTime? (a weekly recap)

Happy Friday All! Oh I am so excited for today. I finally get to meet my friend Tara's baby. She had her when we were on vacation, and the craziness of our move and trying to settle in has kept me busy. The photos of her are absolutely adorable. I've known Tara for a long long... long time. We grew up a block away from them, and her brother Kyle is my age. Tara (or as I call her, Sister) and I became close in high school and have kept in touch since. Her family is darling and I'm happy that we now only live minutes apart.

The rest of our week has been great. Amelia and I have sorted through stuff for the garage sale. We've organized more of her bedroom. We had a mini photo shoot and we picked blackberries. Here is a recap.

 Our Rudy has been found in the bathroom sink a lot lately if he doesn't make it in a bedroom before the door closes at bedtime. He's such a cutie.

 I made four batches of chocolate chip banana muffins. We had a lot of bananas to use up and Amelia loves these. I froze most of them and she devoured the rest.

 It's true... Erica and I let our cats FaceTime.

 Amelia was all about writing in "bubble letters" this week. The girl cracks me up.

We were really excited this week! Amelia got to harvest her first tomatoes from her plants. She was so happy and gobbled them up immediately. She has a ton coming on too. I'm glad she has something that she is responsible for. She does a lot of chores, but they are all things she offers to do on her own (empty dishwasher, fold towels, sweep...). I told her she has to take care of these all on her own, and she is having so much fun doing so. 

 We played babies this week.

 Grace, Amelia and I went for a drive one night. We headed up river and took some back roads home. On our way back to the house we saw a bear, cows, deer and horses. We stopped to give these guys some love. Grace even pet one to sleep. Amelia is determined to have horses one day... and I wouldn't complain if that eventually happened.

We all headed up and jumped in the river one night. It's been so hot this week and the cold river cooled us off. 

I really enjoy the fires we've been having at night. 

I took photos of Amelia this week and I was pretty happy with how they turned out. I know I shared a lot of them yesterday, but here are two I didn't share. She's just so cute I can't stand it. 

We went and picked even more blackberries. I can't wait to bake with them and freeze a bunch for the winter months. As we speak I have a blackberry cobbler in the oven and it smells delicious. 

The sunset we saw last night was gorgeous!

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend. I have two family photo shoots this weekend. I'm so excited! We are also celebrating the first birthday of Holden, my friend Ali's little guy (also one of the boys I babysat). I'm also planning on a fun date for Amelia and I. I'm thinking dinner and a movie. 
Ashley Elizabeth