Let’s Get Real

Welcome to my world! There are lots of dirty (cloth) diapers, sticky hands, and pouting. Everyone in this house pouts, not just the first born photographed here. She still looks pretty cute doing it, though, right?

Pouting Margot - 2 Years Old | Yea Yea Pueblo

Isaac pouts when he’s hungry, and so does Woods. I pout when I’m feeling overworked, and under appreciated, or when Woods cries at the family gym, preventing me from finishing any type of workout. It’s something we’re working on.

We usually bounce back after a snack. Actually, we pretty much always bounce back after a snack. For me it’s Justin’s maple almond butter, for Margot it’s carrots and hummus (she doesn’t eat the carrots, she just licks the hummus off of them, ha!). For Woody it’s bananas, and for Isaac it’s anything. And if I’m forced out of the gym because of my fussy baby then, oh man, too bad, I was sooo into running sprints just now! — guess it’s snack time, instead!

Just a snack or two, and everyone is happy. My family is really easy to please, I can definitely find solace in that.

Margot Collage | Yea Yea Pueblo

I realized this week that I haven’t been taking many personal photos lately. My hard drive is filling with the images of other families, businesses and the women’s ministry. It made me a little sad to see there was nothing new. So I got out my camera during the nap time of one kid or another, and clicked away. I remedied my own pouting with my favorite creative hobby, lifestyle photography!

Sally Hugs | Yea Yea Pueblo

There’s more to it than taking photos, though.  When it came time to flip through and edit, write and publish this post, I ignored the incessant cries coming from both kids’ rooms — they refuse to nap at the same time, despite my best efforts. The dog threw up this morning, so I kicked her outside to avoid any further messes or distractions. And in the hopes of finishing this blog post expediently, I threw a few pieces of bread on the table for lunch and made Margot fend for herself. I tossed her some grapes and applesauce for good measure.

That’s what I have to do sometimes, though. When my sessions pile up on me, or I need time to work on my hobbies, I have to power through it like a snow plow. My dishes pile up into berms, the dust bunnies on my floor roll like desert tumble weeds, and my family eats sad, stale lunches. I think they’re used to it. The kids are familiar with playing in the office, but Margot still gets into everything.  Sitting still is not a practice she’s willing to adopt.

To keep her occupied while I cook and clean, she has a large collection of art supplies that she gets into, and an art wall to show off her work. She loves to paint and sculpt — well, smear paints around on paper, and smash play dough into the table, I should say.

Toddler Life | Yea Yea Pueblo

Mom Life | Yea Yea Pueblo

When I’m in the office, she colors at my feet as I tap away at my laptop. Once or twice while I was preoccupied, she climbed on and then fell off the side of my spin bike, but it was never a spill that her boo boo buddy ice pack couldn’t fix. That’s just one more tally on my mom fail chart.

I’ve become an avid babywearer, as most of you know. I’m partial to my Sakura Bloom ring slings, because they keep Woods happy and close while I work. When he’s not catching a ride in the sling, he’s flopping around on the floor of my office, or rolling around the family room. The kid won’t crawl. He wiggles, and rolls his way around, finding the most roundabout method of mobility. He is also very into co-sleeping. He doesn’t like to sleep on his own, and we’re the enabling parents who go along with it, much to our chargrin.

Waiting for the Mailman | Yea Yea PuebloMargot | Yea Yea Pueblo

It’s only after Isaac comes home from work, and dinner is somehow on the table, that I’m able to appreciate the hurdles thrown at me, and my always-complicated days become worthwhile. The kids are always excited to see Isaac, and when he’s home, it’s play time, story time, then mommy and daddy get  TV and wine time (please no judgment, we watch plenty of documentaries to cancel out the mind numbing reality TV, or so we rationalize)!

When Isaac is finally home to share the household duties, I can look back on the day, and pictures like these, and completely forget about all the pouting, tears, dirty diapers, and sticky hands that went into it.

Sakura Bloom Shabd Shibori Back Carry | Yea Yea Pueblo Toddler Life | Yea Yea Pueblo


Welcome to the World, Woodrow!

Birth Photography | Yea Yea PhotographyBirth Photography | Yea Yea Photography

Our baby boy is here! Woodrow Paul was born Monday September 8th, at 8:04 AM, weighing in at 8 lbs 1.5 ounces and 18.5″ long.

Even though he’s only a week old, life before he arrived is difficult to recall. That may be due in part to sleep deprivation, but that’s okay. Our chubby-cheeked boy is perfect and we’re so happy to be home with him.

Birth Photography | Yea Yea Photography

I’m recovering well from surgery, and Margot is adjusting to her role as big sister beautifully. She had extra special attention from her grandma CeCe who flew in to help us out while we were bringing Woody into the world. Even the dog is taking the change in stride.

Isaac’s paternity leave ends this week, then I officially begin life at home with two kids. There’s a lot of trepidation on my end at this prospect, but I’m sure the adjustment won’t be as difficult as I envision (I tend to be a worst-case-scenario worrier). My house will undoubtedly take on a new level of disorder, lazy crock pot meals will nourish us, and the dog will likely go un-walked. I value order highly, but I know it needs to take a backseat to the bigger picture shift at hand. Sorry in advance to my visitors, and while it is very tempting,  please don’t write your name in the dust.

Birth Photography | Yea Yea Photography

More portraits to come soon.

Birth Photography | Yea Yea PhotographyBirth Photography | Yea Yea PhotographyBirth Photography | Yea Yea PhotographyBirth Photography | Yea Yea Photography

Oklahoma City, OK

Touring a metro area that I called home for nearly a decade seemed a little surreal to me, especially with a growing baby bump and a toddler in tow. I commuted back and forth from the City to Norman, 70 miles a day at my claims adjuster job in what I can only refer to as my ‘old life’.

Oklahoma City Memorial


Oklahoma City, OK

Oklahoma City MemorialI worked hard. I still work hard, but I don’t have a paycheck to reflect that every two weeks. Visiting OKC reminded me of the career and young adult life I left behind a couple of years ago. I appreciated the work experience I gained, but I’m happy as an entrepreneur and housewife. On days that I’m bored and cooped up in our on-post housing in Alaska, I remind myself that it could be worse — I could be sitting in my cubicle in OKC, dealing with unhappy insureds, with only a long commute home and a cold meal to look forward to. I spent those days counting down until the weekend when I could have brunch with friends, or until the next payday. Now I’m watching Margot grow up little by little everyday while her little brother tosses and turns in my belly. It’s been so much more rewarding than the insurance workflow I was previously overwhelmed by.

It seems that even while I’ve been away, making major changes in my life over the last two years, Oklahoma has remained the same. Sure, there are a few I-35 improvements, new restaurants, and expanding suburbs, but the landscape hasn’t changed much overall. The scars from the Oklahoma City Bombing remain, although healed in part by a spectacular memorial site. The University of Oklahoma in Norman retains its Cherokee Gothic integrity, even while enduring its decadent student housing expansion. And the downtown area is still under construction — a metropolitan anomaly that is not unique to Oklahoma.

Oklahoma City Memorial

Oklahoma City Memorial Oklahoma City MemorialThe Arts Festival was more of a people-watching event for me, since Oklahomans wore their Sunday best everywhere. Where were the Chacos? Where were the zip-away hiking pants and gawky gardening hats that I’m used to seeing in the Pacific Northwest? It was a deviation from my new norm, to say the least.


Okahoma City Zoo 095A9888 095A0059It only took 12 years since moving to, and moving away from Oklahoma to finally visit the OKC Zoo. I guess I was just waiting until I had a toddler of my own to make it more fun. Margot enjoyed waving and playing peek-a-boo with the animals in their exhibits. It was a fairly one-sided engagement for her, since the animals didn’t wave back. It was a sensory treat for her.

Oklahoma City ZooMargot got an even better look at the animals near her Great-uncle Sam’s house on the outskirts of Oklahoma City. She ‘helped’ feed the goats, horse and donkey that lived on farms close by. Outside of the zoo, she’s saw her farm animal friends from books in real life. She gleefully waved to them as well.

Traveling with a one-year-old went better than expected; she kept the screaming to a minimum onboard the aircrafts, and back on solid ground, she happily played ‘chase’ and ‘peek-a-boo’ with her Aunts and Grandparents — she even got to meet the Great-aunts who have welcomed her so warmly since her birth. I speculate she is receiving special treatment from Isaac’s maternal side of the family because Margot is the first great-grandchild. She is the changing of the guard, so to speak.

My side of the family is ever-booming in population, so much so that I have aunts and uncles younger than me, and my grandparents have grandchildren older than me. The Sanchez and Shamblin generations know no cyclical bounds in my neck of the family tree.

Oklahoma City, OK 095A0272 Oklahoma City, OK

Visiting to the lower-48 was totally necessary, really fun, and a little too short lived. Next time we’re up for traveling again, we may not be ‘up’ for traveling again! Woodrow Paul will be here, yay!, and Margot will be old enough for us to purchase her plane ticket…grumble.

Oh, looks like you caught that — Woody is what we’re naming our boy. We think it embodies his Okie roots well, while still nodding dutifully to his wooded Alaskan birthplace. We’ll meet our Creole-Mexican-Alaskan baby boy in September, when the leaves turn amber, and the air turns cold once again. Until then, we’ll stick close to Fairbanks.