Friday, July 31, 2009


so i posted an engaged photo session that was really a family, and i'd thought i'd throw some family photos on here, a portfolio of sorts until i get the real thing going.

i met jenalyn when my parent's moved to where we are currently living when i was about seventeen and a half. if i hadn't been homeschooled and if the move was more than fifteen minutes away, this would have all been very devastating. jenalyn was in my early morning seminary class and, when we both weren't totally bleary eyed from lack of sleep, we'd chat.

and then we were young single people and we were getting together at the cheesecake factory to eat avocado egg rolls and talk about boys and school and future plans.

and now here we are, holding our babies against our hips, discussing things like exercise and breastfeeding, marital bliss and what we're making for dinner that night. and darren is a good dad. he's funny and kind and mellow--perfect for jenalyn and perfect for baby liam.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

weekly guy

boy child doing what boy childs do best: sitting in mud in a full and muddy diaper, chewing on a stick. ava was rather squeamish and attempted to hold him back. she also tattled on him repeatedly. by george, there IS a difference between boys and girls!

weekly mouse

ryan comes home from work, this is what ava does and this is what ryan sees. she's definitely got a special love for her daddy. it is reassuring to see her excellent taste in men.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


i'm going to be honest: these two aren't engaged. they're married. and i bribed them to pose for me with a family picture. they have a little boy named liam who is cute! cute! CUTE! i'll post those another time. this time, i want to focus on this, the most realistic of engagement sessions.

"if you could do the wedding thing all over again, what would you do differently?" i asked.

both: "we would've kept the money."

yeah. it's amazing how much all that stuff matters one second and the next, it's all just silly.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

go to sleep little baby

i convinced ryan to come home half an hour early the other day and we went swimming at my parent's house. this exhausted seth to the point that ryan was able to dress him in pajamas without the boy child waking up. THAT HAS NEVER HAPPENED BEFORE. before ryan got him in the house for pajamas and bedtime, i got him to stand still and let me soak all of that beautiful sleeping baby in.

Monday, July 27, 2009


this one is drizella and she is a fan of grapes. and corn. and being in the house.

Friday, July 24, 2009

proof that i am pmsing

watched this and, at the end when the bride comes out, i started crying. because what a happy day it is and here they are, dancing their hearts out. i thought that was beautiful.

now i'm going to go turn on some music and dance with my children.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

sweet baby tears

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

to liz something

i have a friend named liz. liz is like the energizer bunny. she has fifty times the energy of a normal person and she channels all of it into different projects at one time. it's impressive. like when she decided that she felt strongly about homeschooling? wow. it was all homeschooling all the time. or how about the importance of family? well, i think you all read her comments whenever i tapped that subject. she is passionate. she is wordy. she is liz. i just get exhausted thinking about putting that amount of effort into anything.

well, i've almost (almost!) gone all liz over this photography thing. so ryan comes home and i just start yammering away.

"see this? it's called blah blah blah. it occurs when blah blah blah. i think i should blah blah blah so i can blah blah blah. . ."

poor ryan. but you know what? he's gone all liz on mountain biking. he got a mountain bike and he started mountain biking early in the mornings and on saurdays and all of the sudden he's like, "see this? it's called blah blah blah. it occurs when blah blah blah. i think i should blah blah blah so i can blah blah blah. . ."

and now we're getting ready to go to mammoth for a week with all of ryan's family (read: 20 people in a 12 people condo) and ryan's all over the idea of mountain biking. so he gets online and he downloads the map and it's got all of these trails all over it and so he spends all of his time staring at these maps and planing which ones to take and blah blah blah and then, guess what?

he mails it to his dad, who has also suddenly gone all liz on mountain biking and his dad's so EXCITED! that he and ryan get together and start talking like, did you see that trail it's got blah blah blah. . .

so now ryan and his dad want to print the map out and frame it.

to which i reply, "you win. you have out-lizzed me."

congratulations you two.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

call me on a mission

as of tomorrow morning, the hardcore gentleman standing between ryan and me will be a hardcore missionary for the church of Jesus Christ of latter day saints (picture quality is poor because i have no idea how to shoot manually with an automatic flash and after setting things up a couple times i decided that i was just going to work with what i got).

so i've mentioned jorge before, and i mentioned already that i think highly of him, so i'll spare you the adjectives. friday night we all gathered together (hooray for that! i also mentioned that those spanish branch members can put on a party, but i forgot to mention that nowhere on earth can you find such delicious rice and beans. and guess what? i love rice and beans!) to party it up mission farewell style, which meant that near the end we sat in a circle and sister perez, jorge's lovely mother stood to welcome everyone. then she picked branch president para to speak. so he stood and spoke on the importance of missions. then president para looked around and picked someone else. . .seemingly at random. so i leaned over towards ryan (who was translating everything for me) and whispered, "you know that game popcorn from elementary school? you would read for a little while and then pick someone else to read for a little while? i think the spanish branch is playing popcorn."

and they were. because next up was christian, who has only been in america for a few weeks and he started his little speech off with, "well, i don't really know jorge, but he seems really cool. . ."

ryan got up (i don't really know what he said because a friend stepped in for translation about half way through) and i got up, but i can't really remember what i said, either, since i was crying and everyone was looking at me. and that is a very alarming thing to have happen and even though my mouth is still moving (and sounding coherent, i believe) my head is screaming, "THEY'RE ALL LOOKING AT YOU! THEY'RE ALL LOOKING AT YOU! DO NOT DO SOMETHING STUPID! TRY TO SOUND SMART!" that's why, in case you were wondering, i always talk longer than i intend to. because i have no idea what i'm saying or what's going on. i'm just opening my mouth and saying things, hoping that they pertain to the subject at hand (for example: jorge).

anyway, i remember this: rarely in life do you meet someone who makes you feel better about the world because he is so good. if there are people like jorge around then we can't be all that bad off. i'm so grateful for his golden heart, his goodness. colorado is a lucky, lucky state.

and jorge? i'll see you in two years. it's going to be awesome.

Monday, July 20, 2009


Friday, July 17, 2009

weekly mouse

ava found this thing in the backseat of her grandparent's car and dubbed it a kite. she spent an entire car ride out to port hueneme singing "let's go fly a kite" and explaining and demonstrating proper kite flying techniques. i thought it to be several things, one of which was imaginitive. seeing her use her imagination is like getting a high five from the universe. it's like the universe is like, "way to go, miriam! you totally rock at parenting!" and i'm all, "i know, right?"

weekly guy

so seth has learned to drink from a cup, see? now there's no stopping him from knockin' a couple back at the end of every work day. i think it's my irish blood shining through.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

one is silver

so after i aired my latest insecurities, hernan called me and was talking to me about photography. he said, "you have your own style and you're getting better at it."

i said, "i have no idea what you're talking about, but i like it."

may i just say thank you to all of the kind and sincere friends that are out there to offer me a kind word when i am feeling discouraged, even if i don't understand what you're saying?

thank you, i really mean it. it's nice to know a girl can get a little discouraged and have some kind support every once in awhile.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

we went to the park

to make the posting of this picture (which gave me hours of laughter) more fair, i will post one of mine.

this time of year is my favorite by far. when ryan comes home in the evening there is enough daylight to go out and play. and trust me, no one plays like a daddy. ava can't get enough of ryan. when he leaves for work in the morning she begs him not to leave. i need to work on being more fun, i think. she doesn't beg me not to leave!
these evenings lately have been filled with trips to the park or sitting out in the backyard on a blanket, or long walks. i love the length of the days, i love the sunshine, i love the activities that all seem to pop up everywhere.
summer is my favorite.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

feelin' down

it seems like i'm surrounded by a ton of hopeful photographers. everyone is a photographer. i can't tell if it's because i hang out with people with like interests, or if everyone really is a photographer. but when i'm standing in the midst of so many and most of them are much, much better than me, i wonder: what am i doing? why don't i put my camera down and let them do their job? why would i strut around among them, pretending that i know what's going on, that i have some sort of handle on the topic?

right now i feel discouraged and i can hear a million voices in my heading, "just give up! just give up!" it's hard to keep going when you hear those voices.

i'm grateful for jasmine star, who makes me feel like i'm okay, even if she doesn't know me.

and, for jen osullivan, who is amazing in a way that makes me feel like i can get better.

and ryan, of course, who thinks the world of me, even when i don't deserve it.

Monday, July 13, 2009


Saturday, July 11, 2009

summertime. . .and the livin' is easy

Friday, July 10, 2009

weekly guy

crawling. i can tell it's going to be over soon, since he is starting to stand on his own and travels along all of our furniture. i'm ready! i'm tired of wrestling with him whenever we go somewhere. he wants to be on the dirty ground and i don't want to hose him down later.

weekly mouse

a picnic breakfast

Thursday, July 9, 2009

and the other's gold

last night i went out and had a real-deal girls night out. as embarassing as this is to admit, i think that was my first legitimate girls night out since ava was born. and, in a month that girl will be three years old. can you believe that?

it didn't happen on purpose, of course, but it happened. and this morning, i am a renewed woman.

so i sat around with my friend. she let me take pictures of her and then we talked about politics, god, michael jackson, race, photography, intelligence, passion, marriage, growing up. . .and we laughed and talked and laughed.

and ryan called and said, "don't worry about coming home in a hurry, take your time. i know you two like to talk."

i love my friend. i love her brain and i love her amazing good looks and i love her spirit. i also love the fact that last night i quoted her to herself.

and i love my husband. for too many reasons to list here, but mostly for all the same reasons that i love my friend.

it was a good night.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

dia del padre

ryan has a church calling, which is like his job in the church. the way the mormons run things is purely by volunteering. this means that we get no money and we often put a lot of time and effort into our job. ryan's job is to deal with the teenage boys in the spanish branch, which is like a miniature congregation of (you guessed it!) spanish speakers.

let me tell you a little secret: the spanish branch throws parties the way no mormon congregation has ever thrown a party. and they have a party for every holiday. they go on for hours and everyone is so relaxed and happy, the food--the food! is tremendous. i don't speak any spanish and understand very little, but i enjoy these parties very much.

i am a lot behind to be writing about this now, but several weeks ago we went to the father's day party at the park. there was, of course, a pinata. the children knew what this was as soon as the adults started to get it tied up in the tree and gathered around with grocery sacks and baseball hats, watching closely for any candy that might sneak out. since it was fathers day the fathers got to hit the pinata. this meant that a grown man would be blindfolded and handed a bat, then everyone around him would shout, telling him to swing higher or lower. meanwhile, all the children are closely clustered around, watching carefully for any falling candy. it sounded a bit like this:

"Higher! Higher! Lower! Higher! STOP! STOP! STOP! THE CHILDREN!! STOP!!! Higher! Lower! You almost got it! Lower! STOP! STOP! STOP!!! THE-CHILDREN-THE-CHILDREN!!! STOP!!"

Meanwhile, those of us without children about to be served concussions along with a piece of bubblegum, laughed hysterically. and then someone did get whacked and he stood there, rubbing the back of his head with one hand and holding a limp grocery sack in his other, crying loudly. the hitter ripped the bandanna off his eyes and apologized profusely, bending over him to make sure all was well. the parents of the hitted also stood over their son, but instead of concern, they scolded him.

"Why were you standing so close?" they asked. "Didn't you see him swinging that baseball bat?"

"this is the difference between mexico and america," my friend told me, "in mexico we blindfold an adult and hand him a bat and let him swing it around the children. if he hits one of the children, we scold the child. if someone hits your child in america, even if your child is at fault, the parents get mad at the adult."

he has a point.

she is obviously a fan of party hats.

so is he.

a second pinata followed the first. this one was for the children. they lined up youngest to oldest. ava got to go first. she was a very careless and uncommitted pinata-er. this was taken in the beginning of her pinata hitting stunt and i think she's staring at all of the excited mexicans who are cheering her on in spanish. finally someone yelled, "in english! she can't understand!" and they all began yelling in english. this did not enhance her level of commitment.

this is jorge, one of ryan's former "young men" (as the teenage boys are called). he'll be leaving to serve his two year mission this month in colorado. if there is a young man a mother would want her daughter to marry, you're looking at him. i simply adore this wonderful, good young man. i want my sister to marry him, but only because ava is just too young. plus, i already picked out ava's future husband. or husbands. they're brothers and i'm fine with whichever brother she picks, as long as it's one of those boys.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

this is what love looks like

look what i found.

Monday, July 6, 2009


Friday, July 3, 2009

weekly mouse

weekly guy

Wednesday, July 1, 2009


"what does the term 'johnny come lately' mean?"

"i don't know."

"aw, it was a stupid phrase anyway."