As a kid, my Dad was never a fan of Disneyland. I remember seeing photos of our family trips to the “happiest place on earth” and my Dad looking everything but happy. He hates crowds, lines, and waiting, so Disneyland has never stood a chance.

Fast forward 25 years, and you get your Dad taking his two daughters and GRANDDAUGHTER to Disneyland.

You know your dad loves you when…





IMG_6008There was a 3 hour wait to meet Elsa and Anna of Frozen. We ain’t got time for THAT. 



IMG_6058Crusin with Pop Pops.









IMG_6072My first Dole whip. As good as they are cracked up to be. 

IMG_6079I love my family.

IMG_6090Front row parade seats.


IMG_6096Mesmerized by the Disney princesses.


IMG_6097Seeing Elsa made Landyn’s whole year.

IMG_6118Sugar high.


IMG_6134Chocolate face. Sign of a day well spent.


It was the perfect day for all of us. Landyn consumed way too many sweets, I got to try my very first Dole Whip (heaven on earth), and we all got to spend quality time together, just the four of us. I may be bias, but Landyn has the best grandparents around. Love you Dad and Mom.

This was Landyn’s third time at Disneyland and by far the best yet. She is a month shy of 5, and I think this is the age they really grasp the Disney magic. Landyn is already asking to go back, naturally, and I’ve toyed with the idea of a season pass, since we don’t live all that far. When I contimplate something I always go back to how I was raised and for me Disneyland was always a “special” place. A place we’d go for birthday’s, finishing my grueling final exams, graduations. I never want Landyn to take for grantid.


Being a girl mom…

Being a girl mom means dresses, bows, and patent leather shoes,

an overload of pink because you can, and that shabby chic bedroom you always dreamed of.

It means dance class and dress up, and long ringlet curls.

Being a girl mom means you have a forever best friend and a built in shopping buddy.

{Yes it starts this young}…



And with everything, comes milestones and rites of passage. And opinions…. boy do they let their little voices be heard.

For the past few months, Landyn’s been asking to get her ears pierced. I wasn’t sure if she really wanted them pierced for her, or if she liked it because her two little friends at school had earrings. So we waited it out.

I was a child of the 80s where we were practically born with bling in our ears, but with Landyn it wasn’t something that I cared much about. I wanted to wait until she showed interest and I felt was ready.

And today Landyn and I made a date of it and went down to our mall and got her ears pierced.


You guys, she was beyond ready. She sat in that chair today, picked out her “sparkles” as she calls her earrings, and watched the Claire’s employee prep her completely mezmorised. She had her brave face on and didn’t even shed a tear. I’ve never seen her smile so big. She felt so special and this was exactly what I wanted today to be about. Today was about her and letting her express herself. It gave her a little boost.
This afternoon after I overloaded family with photos of our day, I was talking to Josh about how this girl thing is all I know. I grew up with a sister and my first born is a girl. It’s second nature to me. We talk about future and having a family of our own one day, and naturally he thinks we’d automatically have all boys. And while I know I’d love anything we were blessed with, I wouldn’t even know what to do with boys. For now I am a girl mom. I love reliving my childhood through Landyn’s eyes and I’ll continue to soak up all these girly moments.
So proud of my brave girl.

My best friend



Twice a month, I drive an hour and a half south to Long Beach to pick up Landyn from her dads. It’s like being a kid on Christmas morning getting her back after just two days away from me. I’ve shared a little bit about my struggle with the time shared aspect of our lives, and it has not gotten any easier. If anything, it’s proven to get more difficult the older she gets. Landyn has become quite vocal about her feelings and what she wants and having to miss out on occasional parties and family functions because she’s spending the weekend out of town, isn’t fun for either of us.



While the drive to Long Beach is anything but enjoyable, the prize at the end always makes it worth it. Sunday at our exchange, Landyn handed me a best friends necklace she had picked out over the weekend, and said “this is for you mommy, cause you are my best friend”.

I may never take it off…


I believe as parents we all have the responsibility to work on those heart strings. Being a girl momma, I am especially sensitive to that. I remember what I needed at different stages in my life and I try my best to narrow in on particular things with each year that passes. I remember being 4 years old and looking forward to our nightly routine when dad came home from work in time for dinner. So Josh, Landyn, and I have dinners as a family and Landyn thrives off it. I remember how comforting it was knowing my mom would be picking me up from school everyday, and how empty I felt when she went back to work when my parents divorced and I had to go to after school care. So I’ve done everything in my power to own my own business and stay home with Landyn so I can be the first one in line at preschool pick up.


Landyn’s dress c/o Matilda Jane 

Landyn will always be taken care of. I may not always say the right things or strive to do better the next day, but I will go into each day with my best foot forward.

My four year old girl is a non stop box of chatter. She asks questions. “Tell me about that momma”. Some questions so hard that I don’t even know how to answer them like why my last name is different than hers. Others, I respond to in laughter as I would my best friend. And then theres the questions on faith and where Jesus lives or where babies come from, and I quickly realize I have some work to do.

I hope Landyn knows that every family is unique and she is loved well. That regardless of last names, alternating weekends spent out of town, or being my only child she will always be a piece of my puzzle that completes me.

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Christmas Spam

Good lord are we cramming in the holiday activities. With one more weekend before Christmas, we are busy spreading holiday cheer. I have yet to send out our holiday cards and I’m no where near finished with my Christmas shopping… but I will get there.


We attended the most magical Christmas party this past weekend filled with Dickens carolers, caroling in the back of a flat bed truck, high school choir performances, Santa, and picturesque decor. Landyn was in absolute heaven. This was the epitome of the Christmas spirt and it felt good to share it with my little family.







Growing up, my parents always made Christmas a magical time for my sister and I. When I think back on the days leading up to Christmas and Christmas morning, I am flooded with happy memories. I can still hear the music boxes on my mom’s snow globes and smell the gingerbread ornaments I made in first grade that adorned the tree. I vision the wreath I made out of a coat hanger and plastic bags that my mom proudly hung in the house. I remember “A very special Christmas” playing on our record player in the background. Record players were a tad before my time, but my mom always broke it out during Christmas time. I remember my momma’s breakfast casserole every Christmas morning. I remember the butterflies on Christmas Eve and waking up way before dawn.
I also remember when my parents split when I was in second grade, and how it felt to share my time. Splitting holidays and spending the day driving from house to house. I would always wake up Christmas morning to the excitement of new toys, and I had to leave them all behind half way through the day to go see my Dad. I remember missing my mom and feeling guilty for leaving her behind. It’s these harder feelings that has me sensitive to Landyn’s situation and paving the path a tiny bit different. I’ve been in her shoes and my heart aches for her. So I do what I do best, I protect her.

IMG_3858Landyn’s leg warmers: Ooh La Leggies 


I’m sure I’ll be back with some more Christmas spam before the season is over. I hope you are all healthy and well.



Leaving you with some Groopdealz picks I am all over…




1 / 2 / 3

Shop Groopdealz in time for Christmas.

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