i:heart:faces {and textures!}

The creamy silkiness wound around my middle finger in a comforting and familiar way. The tiny, soft nubby knit in pastel plaid was all but faded, holes dotting the entire landscape of my blanket. My mom told me she mended the blanket so many times there isn't much of the original left! I took it everywhere with me; whenever I needed a bit of snuggling I would wad up the blanket into a bunch and then slide that smooth edge up and over my middle finger and slowly wiggle my fingers back and forth... with my thumb in my mouth. Yes, I was a dedicated thumb sucker until I was nearly 5 years old. Hello, my name is Laura and I am a recovered thumb sucker. ;)

I am also a sucker for something else... textures. Walls, fabrics, furniture, paint, wood, floors, photographs, hair, paper (and yes, blankets).... I even pick my favorite foods (and my not-so-favorites) by their texture, not just their taste! Texture adds so much to an otherwise quite simple object.

I Faces is a site that hosts weekly contests and I've been wanting to enter for some time, and when I saw that this week's subject was textures, I decided now was high time I start participating. So for the fun of it, here is my entry! :)

I took this shot one sunny Sunday afternoon of my sweet little Evangeline and I as we were relaxing on the green grass in Apple Hill. Scott was fishing with Elizabeth at the water's edge a few yards off, and William was in my lap. That afternoon will be tucked forever in my heart, a memory of warm sunshine on my face, laughs as the girls saw the fish, and giggles from my sweet boy blowing bubbles in my lap.

Check out I Faces and to see what all the fun is about!



The air was cold, but the sunshine brightened the late afternoon with a golden glow. My sister Carolyn was visiting for Thanksgiving, and we were out and about our cute little town doing a little "mysterious, sassy 'bond'" styled photo shoot for her.

First stop was the parking garage... yes, I know, funny place to do pictures, but it had the most delicious lighting in there! As we wandered around a bit, we had fun laughing and hamming it up... it's been awhile since I've seen my sister, so the bonding over poses, photographs, and sass was a sweet thing for me!

Carolyn is headed on her way back to Venice, lucky duck, and I wish her all the happiness in the world! My hope is that before she gets tired of living on the canal with live music serenading her every move that I'll be able to hop the pond and try out that kind of existence! :)

I love you, sis!



December {personal}

Well, here it is, over half of January gone and I'm way behind on my blogging! Amidst the normal festivities of Christmas we also had a week with Scott in Idaho, and the day after he returned we left for Los Angeles to convene with my mom's whole side of the family for 2 days at Disneyland. Mix in there a round robin of colds and coughs, and I've been swamped! :)

I did manage to journal a bit one night before Christmas, but never got it up on here, so even though it is so late, I'm putting it up anyway for my own sake. Memories are always better with photos! :)


~The week before Christmas~

The warm spiced scent of candles is heavy in the air, the Christmas Tree is twinkling, music is singing the praises of Christmastime. The room is quiet, except for music softly singing to the time of Scott and I typing away on each of our laptops as we sit next to each other on the couch.

The past month has been full of one thing after the other... I don't want to forget any of it, so I'm hoping to have a moment here and there this week to catch up!

Thanksgiving weekend was full with the normal family festivities followed by a beautiful and sweet wedding for two good friends on Saturday. It was fun to visit with so many friends!

We then left Sunday morning for a quick family getaway!

We took the kids and split for a few days to relax and celebrate Scott's birthday, which was on the 2nd. We had a fun time over in Reno, checking out Cabela's (Scott's dream store!), driving the old part of town to check out architecture, and hanging out in the hotel room with the kids.

We spent one day checking out Virginia City, which was fabulous but COLD. Snow and ice on the sidewalks made for some entertainment for the girls, but I mostly wanted to duck into the shops one after the other to escape the biting cold!

I stepped out of the car and immediately my eye was drawn to the drunken lines of the boardwalk. It looks like it's dancing!

Samuel Clemens had a great way with words, and I devoured his works as a young child and teen. On my bookshelf sits a vintage set of his entire collection, as well as an old copy of "The Adventures of Mark Twain", his biography. Samual Clemens worked with the newspaper company that was here back in Virginia City's heyday. Inside the store/museum they have a life sized figurine of the man himself sitting by the stove warming himself.

In one of those "brrr, I'm freezing... time to find another store" moments, we dove into this lovely little shop that had the girls wide eyed with delight forever! Little City Items Toys & Gifts was THE most amazing kid's shop I've ever set foot in. And that is saying something! :) I wanted to stay forever and forage the amazing toys Pamela Byars, the owner had tucked in every little corner! Pamela herself was behind the counter and was so kind and friendly, helping the girls with their purchases of two doll figurines (to add to their large "princess" collection). The products were all the highest quality, the kind you could pass on to your grandchildren one day and they would still be in ship shape. If you are ever nearby, it is worth the drive to Virginia City just to visit this adorable shop!

Look at those long blonde curls! :)

This was Evangeline's successful solution to the long day and drive!

I love low key family time when we don't have any grand things to do or places to go... where we can just relax and take each moment as it comes! I was really grateful for a little time away as a family during such a busy holiday season!

Then Sunday the 6th was spent hanging out over at Scott's parents' place with the family.

Even though the stormfront that made headlines was moving in, with flurries flying everywhere, we managed to run outside for a five minute camera session with the cousins before heading in to decorate the Christmas Tree. The kids were so thrilled with their job as decorators of the tree! It was sweet to watch their joy and concentration to get each ornament positioned just right. During the evening the snow kept coming down... when we headed home around 8 we had to use 4-wheel drive to make it... the VW van in front of us was fishtailing it all the way into town! I thought we were going to witness a crash any second, but whoever was driving knew how to drive in the snow. The next morning we awoke to the muffled quiet that only snow brings. The old house was toasty warm with its thick white winter blanket!

We had over a foot of snow, which is crazy rare for our town! Usually we get an inch or two a few times through the season, but it melts off by the end of the day. Not this storm. The snow continued to fall till noon, creating the most majestic winter wonderland I've ever witnessed here.

Our sweet little town was tranformed into a fairytale! Scott saw the look on my face as I gazed out the window and shoo'd me out of the house...

my man dressed and fed the kids so I could go out in the flurries with my camera for a few hours. I love him!

I could not wipe the smile off my face for the entire two hours I was out. I felt so silly, like a little kid, and my cheeks hurt... but the beauty and quiet was so beautiful I could not help myself!

The few people I did meet while out were feeling the same way I think, because everyone was smiling and greeting one another like old neighbors.

I headed downtown to Main Street to see what I could find... it was like seeing our cute little town with fresh eyes. The snow defined shapes, lines, and architecture while hiding the normal color filled life that I normally see.

I love this photo of a darling little old lady, out braving the storm when so many others were lounging about on the warm couch, missing the fun!

A very merry Northern California Christmas to you!