Am I really a mom of a (almost) three year old? It is crazy and scary and I almost can’t believe it. I have one more month to enjoy her as my little two year old. I often look at her and listen to the things she says and does and it is almost as if “I” raised her.  How did she turn out so much like me but in a little 2 year old body.   She is independent (too independent if you ask me), she only wants to snuggle if its her idea. She is strong-willed, brave, very social, loves to “hang out”,   She isn’t scared of new things and warms up to new people pretty quickly.  She is silly and loves to sing ( not sure where that came from ) oh and she told me today that she wants to go to school. Which I loved school.. but she doesn’t know what that is except that some of her friends go there. I could have cried; as if I were dropping her off for her first day of school. Thankfully, we don’t have to do that for 2 maybe 3 years because of her birth date and the “school cut off dates”. I often think about her future… not just about what she will do for a career or who she will marry but the choices she will make. I already pray that she is more like her daddy when she enters into the “teenage” years.  I pray that I know how to steer her in the direction of making really really wise decisions.
I knew that parenthood would be hard and fun and full of blessings but I did not realize how much you need to get to know each child individually at such a young age.  I realize more and more each day how much my girls need me. When they are sad, mad, hurt, bored, hungry, tired, and especially if they just need to be held and loved.  Lyla also told me for the first time she was sad. Im not sure which cartoon she learned that from, but its starting. The realization of her own feelings and how to express them.  The “tantrums are a little less” and we can actually have real conversations.  It is  precious and I love getting to know who she is becoming.   Im so thankful that she is just turning 3…we aren’t ready for the “real world” yet and I am happy she is entertained by Strawberry shortcake and Princess Sophia, climbing trees and swimming for hours.  My little Lyla… you are such a gift. I know you wont be little forever.. but you will always be one of my babies.  You my precious are beautiful.

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If you are new here to Allthingsinspired, Welcome! You will quickly learn that Brent and I are a wedding photography (married) duo and shoot lots and lots of weddings here in California. { You can find us here }…And every once in a while I will share a picture or two here on Allthingsinspired.  I have been wanting to create a “Wedding Inspired” category, so I thought I’d start today with “the Perfect Bouquet”. If you have planned your wedding, or in the process of planning, and anything like myself… you know it is no easy task to choose the “Perfect Wedding bouquet”. Thankfully Pinterest is here to help while you scour those wedding blogs in search for the perfect bouquet. And of course, my very best advice would be … make sure you find and “book” your favorite florist months (and months) in advance.  The good ones always book up quickly. A florist will not only know how to put together your bouquet, but will know exactly what flowers are in season during the month of your wedding.  Here is a little inspiration for those of you that love Peonies along with soft touches of green, yellow and pink. This bouquet was not only beautiful but the color combo was truly perfect.


If you are looking for a florist, Here are a couple of my favorite florists.
Redding, Ca: The Floranthropist
San Diego, Ca : Siren Floral Co
Please note that all images were taking by Brent Van Auken Photography.

Please feel free to join along… Facebook // Instagram // Pinterest // Twitter

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Tank Top :  Old Navy  //   Necklace:  Forever 21  (found Here) // Hat: Original Penguin Company (No longer available)

Its true, when traveling to Hawaii, or to any other exotic island in the middle of summer… you only need tank tops, shorts, sandals, your bathing suit, sunglasses and a hat. Of course I over packed and thought I’d wear all the clothes I brought… but I didn’t. This is exactly what we lived in. Before we left, I headed to Old Navy and picked up a few tanks, new sandals for Lyla, and of course a new suit for her. Its so fun to get ready for vacation. Now all I need is a how-to book to get vacation out of my mind. I’m gonna be honest and say, I’m having a hard time getting back into reality. So many friends are sending their kids off to school this week… but for those of us with kids not in school (and under 3) .. well it is definitely still summer. And it will be that way until the weather changes. Fall is right around the corner, but we still have more days of 99 degrees, and I will enjoy every single bit of the sun. Are you ready for summer to be over?

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Acai’ Bowls.
a dear friend.  Fresh Coconut water.
a favorite spot on the north shore. Alligator Rock.
We made it home from Oahu last Thursday night and we are so happy we made it out of hawaii before Hurricane Iselle.  Its been a little bit of a whirl wind coming home and trying to get into routine and back to reality.  I apologize for the lack of blogging anything other than our trip, but I want to always remember this sweet time we had.   Hawaii has our hearts and it will always be such a special place to Brent and I.  Im beyond thankful for the time spent with my sweet family.   We had been dreaming of this vacation for 6 years and it finally happened.    We were beyond blessed to stay with our friends at Surfing the Nations and it was really fun to hang and see what they are up to.

We realized a lot while we were away,  and had the time to really think about somethings in our life.  The importance of people, our relationship, our  friendships and the things we are hoping to go after as a family.     We realized the ‘grass isn’t always greener’ in other places,  but people should always come first no matter what.    We were inspired, challenge and so refreshed during our trip.

We were so thankful to come home to our little town in northern California which again we realized this is exactly where we are meant to be for now.   Of course we can’t wait to go back to Oahu and hoping it is way sooner than 7 years from now.

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  • Marie

    How fun! Looks like you guys had a fab time. Welcome home. :) ReplyCancel

We have been living at the beach. We almost can get enough of it. The warm, turquoise water, the blue sky,  my happy children… yes take me there!!   We didn’t realize what 12 days would feel like here with our kids.  Not that Im complaining about our 12 day vacation with them, but we are so used to working, then traveling for work, photographing weddings, editing, emailing and then working some more all while having grandma to help…  it has been a little struggle to relax and do nothing… literally.   Except for deciding what and where to eat and what beach to go to.  Our time has been a little constricted with “nap time” for both girls, but they have been doing a great job with sleeping to and from the beach…. ( our car rides have been very peaceful.)  Surfing the Nations ( which is where we are staying ) is  15 minutes from the little beach town Hale’iwa on North Shore. It has been awesome to stay here and we are very much enjoying  the quieter – not so “touristy” side of the island.  And if your thinking about coming to Oahu… Ko’Olina is a must!  It is (one) of my favorite beaches here.  We spent the day basking in the sun and playing in the sand.  It was a perfect day. 

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