chisinau at night

By Family, Moldova

on my actual birthday, c + the girls took me out for dinner. then we met up with our friends for coffee and dessert. it was a great monday followed by taking the train to bucharest the next day. i can’t believe i’m thirty-one. guess i’m officially “in” my thirties, ha! i snapped a few pics, just using the crazy random street lights as we walked down stefan cel mare. i really, really love this city at night!

a princess party

By Family, Kids, Moldova

here are just a few of my favorites from today…we had a prefectly perfect princess party with a couple of princesses AND a few princes too! it was once again a group effort, thanks to grandmas, aunties and friends. happy birthday, addy grace.

and now? on to christmas!


maybe the last post.

By Family, Kids, Moldova

okay this might be the last cousins post. unless of course i find more iphone videos i forgot about. but i am pretty sure this is the last of the photos – – a handful i found on my phone that i wanted to share. i think i already posted a bunch of these to instagram but they still deserve a post, right?!



By Family, Kids, Moldova

Oops. I lied. Somehow I found a few more pictures of the time with our cousins when I plugged in my cell phone to update it. This was the first two minutes Addy, Spencer and Emma spent being reunited. Sorry for the blur. They were a little excited, if you can’t tell!


cousins {the summary so to speak}

By Family, Kids, Moldova

let’s be honest here. if i wait until i have sorted through all the pictures from our cousins visit – – well it might be 2013 by then. so here it is.










i deleted the ones i deemed unsuitable.


and yet somehow i ended up with 315. seriously?!


so glance at this post if you so chose. or if you are a grandparent, click on each and every picture and oooo and awwww in grandparent-ly affection.

now you know why we are still adjusting to life without grammie, auntie cacey, spencer and emma. look at how much we managed to fit into three weeks!



we did it!

By Family, Moldova

we did two things, my mom and i.


we kept four kids alive and well. uhhhh, well enough. but yeah, living and breathing until cacey got here. yeah we did four kids for ten days and we did it well. {side note, christian was here, but very busy with the church launch.}


and we finished the first of our two granny square blankets. this one is mine. we started the squares in january and then connected them while my mom was here. i know, i know…basically it’s an amazing work of art!


{we aren’t so bad looking either.}


cousins part one {of many, i hope!}

By Family, Kids, Moldova

our cousins have been here nine days.


every minute has been an adventure, i do believe. 🙂


i would like to add more details but since i barely have time to brush my teeth these days – – these pictures will have to do. hopefully soon i will blog about their trip and explain the pics. off the top of my head, this is what we have done so far:


cousins’ camp, mcdonalds, park, adventure walk, indoor play place, “chuckie cheese” type place and the circus.


{we may have been to the park and mcdonalds more than once. nothing quite as good as sixty cent ice cream cones.}


anyway, enjoy these for now!


the moment when my entire person wished desperately to be back in california, if just for five minutes.

By Family

i have too many feelings to explain. too many thoughts to gather.


i love this kid. she’s my sister and my best friend.


sometimes you just have to share the silly moments because best friends do that. i hope you chuckle or laugh as much as i did while picking out these pictures.


but i need to share one last picture. i apologize to anyone that feels like this picture is too real. but the fact of the matter is, this is real. all during my pregnancy {with mercy}, she quoted “baby mama” and claimed that she was going to be my “biwthing pahtner.” but when it really happened, she was my birth partner. this picture was taking less than one hour before mercy entered the world. every time i look at it, it makes me cry.








sister, i can’t believe you are getting married. sheesh. ugh. grrr. sniff. cough.


okay fine, i have no good way of trying to put my feelings on paper, errr, blog world. i am so excited for you. tanner is getting a very, very, very amazing wife.


i love you.



By Family, Kids, Moldova

we enjoyed a special treat this week…a care package from grandma and grandpa burtt! it was full of goodies and fun {and a couple practical things} and the girls were beside themselves. here are a couple cute videos of the care-package-process.




you have to listen carefully to understand this one. addy actually says, “i haven’t used the purple. i need the purple” right as mercy grabs the purple marker and makes a break for it. oh sisters. ♥



thank you grandma and grandpa…you really made our week!

a photo recap

By Family, Moldova

here is a compilation of pictures from our visit with grammie and pops. i would say the trip was, hands down – – amazing. they had a slightly rough time getting here – – being re-routed through istanbul {not constantinople – – and yes, i do make myself laugh} and losing their carry-on luggage for two days. how you can lose your own carry-on luggage, well the answer lies with lufthansa. or possibly istanbul. they showed up a few hours late in the best of spirits. i think they took all of one day to recuperate. i’m guessing their grand-kids sped the process up. they cheerfully bought clean underwears until their luggage showed up. their visit was a mixture of showing them our daily life here in moldova and enjoying some of the tourist-y things we had never done. it was a whirlwind of two weeks. my mom and i had more than one special day out. it was perfection, really. ♥


disclaimer: overload of pictures



don’t say you weren’t warned

feel free to stop reading this post

there are in fact seventy-five pictures coming up


grammie and addy reunited ♥

grammie and mercy reunited the next morning ♥

the amber necklace that grammie brought that has already worked miracles!

grammie and addy looking at addy’s birth pictures…

grammie’s birthday breakfast:

pops and his girly ♥

silly girls

kisses too {mercy’s hairstyle is natural fyi}

berry breakfast:

pop lovies

chisinau botanical gardens

who let the men lead the way?

so instead grammie put addy in charge! she’s all too natural.

then grammie taught addy how to act like a tree. hopefully grammie doesn’t kill me for adding this picture to the blog!

and she {grammie} taught her {addy} about slugs.

then they found sticks and went hiking:

mercy needed her own sized hiking stick.

apples + exploring…

mama lovies, too. ♥

little girl sitting on top of a rock?

{with a little help, maybe}

botanical garden beauty.

does it get any cuter?

oh this kid.

she loves us, really she does!


grammie watching a movie with her girls:

grammie got her picture in front of “stephen the great” {well technically his side}

and of course a lion.

showing grammie and pops some authentic moldovian food:

daddy said no. i guess it’s a good thing.

oh this kid. she is growing up too fast. {and yes, i am wearing an apron.}

she was helping pops and told him, “pops, i could really use some glasses here.”

my mama’s birthday

“mexican” food in moldova.

she drinks diet coke with style!

pops’ souvenir…

it’s love ♥

my crazy one year old!

then i touched a zebra for the first time!

there must be a bond between these two!

gorgeous ♥

she was letting lamby meet the animals…

awesome close bear!

grammie’s girls:

the ability to get oh so close to the animals!

those smiles…

she came running up to me and said with those dark, serious eyes, “you keep lamby safe from the ducks and gooses!”

this picture warms my heart beyond words ♥

and this one just makes me giggle!

they love each other.

a special dinner with the team from phoenix:

oh those kisses ♥

birthday party before:

birthday party after (and more pictures to follow of the birthday festivities)!

we went to the little amusement park next to our house and rode pretty much every ride for $5. mercy was somewhat jealous she wasn’t on the rides.

notice the crying? pops said, “you get sit in front and drive the boat.” addy started wailing, “but i don’t know how to drive a boat!”

much happier girl on her pops’ lap…

addy and mama on a ferris wheel that daddy refused to go on:

then grammie made daddy and mama go on this ride. the actual ride wasn’t scary but i will admit the creaking metal was a little worrisome, ha!

addy loves these bounce houses and mama is way to old fyi…

we ended friday with an impulsive lunch in a castle…

addy was completely in heaven ♥

we can’t wait for them to come back!

we love you guys and miss you!

happy father’s day pops!

By Family, Holidays

christian and i have both been blessed to have a loving relationship with our dad. looking back, i can see how my relationship with my dad helped me to be more secure in who i was. crazy how that all works together, huh? i can also see how my dad helped me form a healthy picture of my heavenly father.


i have missed my dad a lot more than i expected. i knew i would miss him with moving to moldova. that was a given. but i guess i’ve just missed him a little bit more than i planned. while he was here visiting, i found myself watching him love of his grand babies and feeling so thankful that the Lord has given my daughters this amazing gift of their pops.


i have a lot i could say but i think this slideshow says it better.


i love you daddy! ♥


p.s. there’s also a slideshow for grandpa jim here