a robot party

Brave's 7th birthday robot party Brave's 7th birthday robot party Brave's 7th birthday robot party Brave's 7th birthday robot party Brave's 7th birthday robot party Brave's 7th birthday robot party Brave's 7th birthday robot party Brave's 7th birthday robot party Brave's 7th birthday robot party Brave's 7th birthday robot party Brave's 7th birthday robot party Brave's 7th birthday robot party Brave's 7th birthday robot party Brave's 7th birthday robot party Brave's 7th birthday robot party Brave's 7th birthday robot party Brave’s seventh birthday request was originally a Transformers party at a hotel, but about a month ago, she changed her mind to a robot party. I love her little quirky requests, so robot party it is! We took off for a few days in San Diego, Pricelined a hotel, and ended up staying at the Rancho Bernardo Inn. The girls request hotel parties because they love going swimming all weekend long, and we love it because we feel we’re really able to focus on the celebrant and get a lot of relaxing family time together. It’s a win-win for everyone.

The girls made the backdrop for the party, I brought the blue striped fabric to cover the bed, I made the berry shortcake using this recipe, plates are from Target, and I used this DIY to make the party hats. Target actually had these metallic party hats and I just added the felt and the chenille stem to the top. The presents were also wrapped similarly with silver wrapping paper and felt. I decorated the hotel room while the girls were at the pool, and we surprised Brave with everything around dinner time. The first thing she wanted to do was open presents (of course!). Then, we sang “Happy Birthday,” had a little cake, and we headed off to dinner to the restaurant attached to the hotel. After Brave’s birthday dinner, we came back to our room, opened more presents (all the handmade ones True and Soul made her!), played some games (True and Brave each made their own version of “Pin the Button on the Robot”), and then we had a robot dance party.

Brave was all smiles, and Ben and I were happy seeing all our girls happy. These birthday weekends are spent playing at the pool, staying in bed too long, and watching cartoons in bed (we don’t have a television, so they love them at the hotel). It’s a nice break away and since the girls keep asking for these kinds of celebrations, I’m guessing they love it as much as we do.



purging and robots

brave birthday brave birthday brave birthday brave birthday brave birthday brave birthday I’ve been spending time this week purging through each room. If  I look at a room, and can’t mentally pack it quickly in my head, it makes me itch, and a lot of rooms were starting to make me itch, so I finally got around to organizing a bit. Spring was busy getting ready for my book release that I missed that spring cleaning window, so I’m doing it now before we start a new school year. I still have a ways to go, but it feels good to already have gone through some nooks and crannies of our home.

Our biggest project of late is getting ready for Brave’s party. She changed from a transformer themed one to a robot party (because transformers are robots), so we’ve been birthday prepping. I’m letting them take care of the backdrop and they’ve been doing lots and lots of robots. I love seeing the different robots they’re making; that bacon and pancake robot above is my fave. I love the stuff kids come up with!




family pictures 2013 family photos 2013 family photos 2013 family photos 2013 family photos 2013 family photos 2013 family photos 2013 family photos 2013 family photos 2013 This was taken over a year ago in March. It marked our first outing as a family after I turned in my first completed book draft. We all had to sacrifice a little to make the book happen. We gave up most of our Saturdays, so I could spend all day working since Ben was home and could run the show. Looking back at these pictures remind me of that special season of our lives and the relief we all felt after that March 1st deadline. I’m glad my friend Kimberly Genevieve (and Andre!) met us out in the dessert to capture this special time.

Anyway, I’m totally late in sharing these (I just kept forgetting to), but I thought since today marks the birthday of our family (it’s our wedding anniversary), it was about time to share these photos in today’s post. To celebrate today, I’m just making Ben one of his favorite dishes for dinner and we will have a quiet dinner in our room, after the girls go to bed, and watch 24 (season 8, since we want to refresher before we watch this newest season). We both agreed Singapore was a fantastic way to commemorate it, so low-key at home, on the actual day, works perfectly fine for us.

We were telling the girls how special today is because it’s our family’s birthday, and they were like, “No, you weren’t a family because we weren’t there yet.” Ben explained that we became a family the day we got married and our family just kept growing as each of them joined. The big girls get it now, but Soul is still insistent that July 9th won’t be a birthday unless there’s cake involved, so we just might need to find time to make cake today too.

We went from two to six in just a matter of nine years… had just a taste of the wonderful (and sometimes bad) and unexpected craziness of life, but lots of grace and forgiveness given daily. Cheers to 9!

Photos by Kimberly Genevieve and you can see more here on 100 Layer Cakelet.


they keep growing

exploring exploring exploring exploring exploring exploring exploring exploring These girls do so much growing everyday. I love seeing them grow and discover their unique selves, and it’s all happening so fast, but slow at the same time. I’ve said it before, but as crazy as it is to have 4 kids who are so close in age, seeing how they are instant best friends makes me glad it all happened this way. It makes all the chaos worth it.

In our house, everyone yells and runs, absolute silence is a rarity. I feel like we’re always rushing about, and sometimes our morning just starts, and I’m already wishing for bedtime. I try to keep my routine and everyone in line, but some days things just fall apart (schedule, kids, me…) and I try to be okay with it, but sometimes I’m just a mess.

I’ll look at Ben and look at the girls, and I’m in awe at how we went from a family of two to six so fast. I see bits of both of us in each of them, but I also see so much of their own self too. I like how the overflow of love Ben and I share came out four unique little beings who are just full of sweetness and love (with a whole lot of stubbornness mixed in too!).

on me: dress, thrifted (it was huge and not cute, so I did a little cutting and sewing, and the result is a dress I absolutely loved and paid only $2.50 for; totally reminds me of this way pricey dress). sandals, piperlime. on true: tunic, misha lulu. vans, shoebuy. on brave: tee, old navy. short, misha lulu. on soul: dress, vintage from ms. tips. boots, thrifted. on glow: dress, vintage. shoes, vintage.


work and play

home scenes home scenes home scenes home scenes home scenes The two biggest girls are very helpful around the house. Soul, gets tired after like 2 minutes, and it’s mostly playing and complaining from her. She’s still only 4, so she still gets a pass once in awhile, but getting passes isn’t going to be an ongoing thing. She better not get used to it. I can see how oldest siblings can sometimes feel more pressured with responsibility than the rest. True’s my to-to gal in helping out, but I need to make sure as all the kids mature, that they all become my go-to gals. Brave’s pretty helpful too and they (True and Brave) have the same chores list to do around the house, but I think I just automatically ask True to do things more often because she’s the oldest.

I think I’ll need to work on being intentional to have the same expectations from Soul and Glow when they’re ready for it. I could see how babies of the family can be babied because they just seem younger than the older ones, and aren’t given the same expectations and same level of responsibility. Birth order (typically) plays a role in things, doesn’t it?

So for now, the big two work as the little two play. Yesterday evening, the girls and I had good conversations at the dinner table and then we (True, Brave, and I) worked together to clean-up. It was a calm evening of quick obedience and no fighting, and I’m thankful when those moments happen. True and Brave were singing as they were working and I left my camera on the counter on to catch them; they laughed and suddenly got shy when they discovered my secret filming.

Don’t forget to enter the giveaway! If you’re in Southern California (or happen to be here this weekend), come and celebrate with us at the book release party!!! Get more info on that here.



ms. tips citykid treehousekidandcraft-CAKIES.4.13 lotta hello shiso entrance10


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