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Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Kindergarten Here We Come!

Congrats to our little man and all the hard work he put into getting through two years of preschool! He's grown so much over the last two years and now knows his colors, numbers, sight words, all the important skills he needs to start kinder.

Last Day of School Interview

I like learning about: the water cylce
When I grow up I want to be: a police officer
My best friends are: Travis and Caleb
My favorite color is: blue and red
My favorite game is: racing in the play yard
My favorite lunch was: taquitos
My favorite thing about school is: graduating
Next year I'm most excited to: be in kindergarten 

I can't thank his teachers enough for all their love, patience, dedication and guidance!


[Proud parents!]


[Parker with Ms. Liza, Kendra and Amy]






Saturday, May 5, 2018

And then there were 4


I'm happy to announce that we are expecting baby #2! Parker is soooo happy to be finally getting his "own baby." This is how the conversation went when we finally told him the big news.

Me: Parker, I'm pregnant and you are going to be a big brother.
P: What?! When is the baby coming?
Me: In 9 months.
P: 9 months? That's too long. I can't wait that long. Can you just order one from Amazon?

Tuan and I were both dying. Sorry, kid. You can't 2 day ship a new baby!


We're all excited for this new chapter for our family and I have no doubt that Parker will be the coolest, most helpful big brother. It's been half a decade since we were last pregnant so Tuan and I are starting to look for new gear and prepping ourselves to start all over with diapers, sleep deprivation and breastfeeding. This time around, we have an extra pair of little hands to help out!





Wednesday, February 28, 2018

North Shore Oahu Family Photoshoot

For our 5 year anniversary, instead of swapping gifts we splurged on a family session with Emily Turner during our trip to Hawaii. We booked the session for the late afternoon to take advantage of the "golden hour", it also gave us all morning to wander and explore Waikiki. The drive from Waikiki to North Shore was just under an hour and along the way we passed the Dole plantation with it's unending fields of pineapples as well as some fruit stands with their beautiful display of whole and cut up fruit. The contrast between the busy city streets of Waikiki and the quiet roads of North Shore are stark and I loved it. Our favorite game to play while driving was spot the chicken. There were so many wild chicken aka Hey Hey's roaming around! I did my hair and make up at the hotel but we all changed into our photo shoot outfits in the car on the side of the road which was an adventure in itself. 

family photography, hawaii photography, hawaii, oahu, north shore

Emily is such a gifted photographer and she made us feel at ease while we trekked through the forest and along Turtle Bay on Oahu's North Shore. We love her photography style and the way she captured our interactions. She encouraged us to act normally and to engage and explore our surroundings. That wasn't hard to do as we found ourselves immersed in a forest of hanging vines and old banyan trees as soon as we took the path down from the road. By the water, there were interesting rock formations, groves of coconut trees and Parker's favorite, crabs!

Booking a photography session while on a trip is something I highly recommend if you can swing it. You'll always have lovely photos to look back on and we ended up using these photos for our 2017 holiday cards as well. Thank you, Emily, for capturing these moments for us. They are some of the few photos we took the entire trip because we were consciously trying to live in the moment and not be on our phones. Going through all the photos again makes me want to go back to Hawaii!

family photography, hawaii photography, hawaii, oahu, north shore

family photography, hawaii photography, hawaii, oahu, north shore

On Tuan
Ezekiel Macaw Shirt
J Crew Chinos
Rainbow Sandals

On Mary
ASOS Lace Cold Shoulder Dress
J Crew Sandals

On Parker
Splendid V Neck Tee
Old Navy Chinos
Tevas Sandals


family photography, hawaii photography, hawaii, oahu, north shore
[Fun fact: they filmed parts of Pirates of the Caribbean and Jumanji in this forest.]

family photography, hawaii photography, hawaii, oahu, north shore
[You can't even tell we got ready in the rental car on the side of the road.]

family photography, hawaii photography, hawaii, oahu, north shore

family photography, hawaii photography, hawaii, oahu, north shore

family photography, hawaii photography, hawaii, oahu, north shore

family photography, hawaii photography, hawaii, oahu, north shore

family photography, hawaii photography, hawaii, oahu, north shore

[This was the photo we used for our Christmas cards.]

family photography, hawaii photography, hawaii, oahu, north shore

family photography, hawaii photography, hawaii, oahu, north shore

family photography, hawaii photography, hawaii, oahu, north shore

family photography, hawaii photography, hawaii, oahu, north shore
[This so perfectly captures us! HAHA]

family photography, hawaii photography, hawaii, oahu, north shore

family photography, hawaii photography, hawaii, oahu, north shore

family photography, hawaii photography, hawaii, oahu, north shore


family photography, hawaii photography, hawaii, oahu, north shore
[Oh hey! I stepped into a postcard.]

family photography, hawaii photography, hawaii, oahu, north shore

family photography, hawaii photography, hawaii, oahu, north shore


Thursday, February 15, 2018

LEGO Ninjago Themed 5th Birthday Party

For Parker's 5th birthday we did a full venue buyout of PlayWerx and transformed the space into Parker's Mojo Dojo! The birthday boy had a blast running, climbing and playing with all his friends. I won't lie, this party was a lot of work and required many hours of watching Ninjago and Pinterest browsing but seeing how happy P was made it all worth it. Living in the moment and getting caught up in conversations with friends and family was awesome but it resulted in us barely taking any photos of the party.  Note to self: next time hire a photographer. Leave me a comment if you have any questions about the party! I've also linked all my party resources at the end of this post.  



My sister Tania created a series of custom signs for the party. It pays to have talented sibs! We created a custom minifig of Parker on the LEGO site and she worked her magic to make it look like he was transforming into a ninja.

[Happy birthday, Parker!]




PlayWerx has two smaller party rooms and we posted the sign below as a call to action for the kids to use their creativity and build. We ordered bricks in bulk from eBay and combined them with bricks from Parker's stash to have enough for the party.




If your kid is anything like mine and watches waaaaaay too many videos on YouTube, you know that sour candy challenges are the cool thing to do. I put together a serpentine (because Ninjago) sour candy challenge in the 2nd small party room that consisted of Smoke Bombs, Warheads, sour snakes, and Toxic Waste. I bought green bowls from Party City and displayed them to look like the Great Devourer. Watching all the kids pucker up from the sour candy was so funny! 










Wouldn't it be cool if I had some photos of the "Tea House" we set up for the party? Oh well. You will just have to read about it. To recreate Sensei Wu's tea house, I ordered 5 gallons of assorted teas from GuilTea Cravings, a local boba tea shop. Ordering by the gallon is not something they currently offer but I asked nicely and the owner Hue was kind enough to work with me. The tea station was a BIG hit and there was not a drop left by the end of the party. 


Parker was very involved with planning the party but the one thing we were able to surprise him with was a face painter. We found Krys on Yelp and she was great to work with. Her work was very detailed and she had an efficient way of keeping track of the kids so they didn't have to wait in a big line to get painted. Check out how detailed Parker's Lloyd is! 








The kids were relatively self-contained in the play structure for most of the party but we did get them all out for cake cutting. Parker is not a big fan cake so we ordered a two-tiered ice cream cake from Baskin Robbins. We made the little minifig candle holders and threw on some fondant ninja stars and Parker's name to make it look more Ninjago. Not my best work but it's not too shabby. We made the cake decorations the morning of the party and my little sister kept saying she is an expert because she's been watching British Bake Off.  



Thank you to my husband for supporting and helping me execute all my crazy ideas. Thank you to our family and friends that helped with crafting and set up. Thank you to the staff at PlayWerx for helping me run a seamless event. It takes a village every time we throw a birthday party which is why we only do it every other year. Hopefully when he turns 7, the theme will be "a trip to Cabo". Want to see photos of past parties? Colorful first birthday. Wild Kratt's 3rd Birthday



** I AM NOT PREGNANT** but I have to share this little story from the party. We ordered custom fortune cookies with messages that said "Thank you for coming to my party, Ninja!" and a couple of other messages along the same lines. Well it turns out the fortune cookie company mixed up some of the cookies from our order with someone else's birth announcement cookies. I was driving home from the party when I started getting "Congrats!" texts messages from friends. I was like congrats for what? A good party? You're welcome! Our friends sent us pics of the message below and I just about died. This is literally the most terrible and yet hilarious thing that could have happened. What a way to end the night. 

Venue: PlayWerx
Invitations: Party People Designs
Catering: QT Pot, Bale French Sandwiches & my mother-in-law
Birthday shirt: KynzKlothes
Boba Tea: GuilTea Cravings
Signs: custom designed by Tania
Inspo: Pinterest