William’s Baptism

Ever wondered what a baptism in the Orthodox church looks like?

This last weekend, we were part of the baptism of our fourth godchild, William. Normally, in the Orthodox church, babies are baptized within their first 2 months of life. Since our friends were waiting for us to move to Dallas, however, William is already 5 months old!

For long-time readers of this blog, you will notice that our “home” church in Dallas is the same exact place where we baptized our first godchild, Christopher, our second godchild, Lola Magdalena, our OWN son, Gregory, and our third godchild, Jonathan. This is a special place for us, to be sure!


Christopher, 2009 (before any of the iconography on that back wall!)


Lola, 2010

Double Baptism

2011 (double baptism– we were Jonathan’s godparents, and his parents were Gregory’s godparents!)


William, 2014!


We were friends with two other couples long before any of us had kids. Now, we have a herd! Here are 5 of the 7! Baby Joanna and Baby William are missing (or getting baptized!). And, yes, 6 of our 7 are boys! Poor Joanna!



spit up

Want to see the Money Shot? Right as they handed William to me, he spat up. Ah, babies!



Laughing it off!


Taking William up for his first communion!


Big Sur 2014

Boys and Kelly Ragged Point 2014

Tonight, we drove back from Big Sur, feet covered in dirt, sweatshirts smelling like smoke, and hearts full of memories. Per tradition, we stopped at Ragged Point on our way up to the campground. This gorgeous spot along Hwy 1 is where Jesse proposed to me, 9 years ago.

AJ Gregory Ragged Point signature

Jesse and Kelly Ragged Point signature

Kelly and Boys signature

Gregory and Dadda Ragged Point 2014

We took this next picture of AJ not 30 minutes into camping. He had already found a way to bathe his entire body and face in dirt, giving him the cutest Groucho Marx eyebrows.

AJ messy face Big Sur signature

We camped for 4 days and 3 nights, and we were blessed that the boys only had a hard time falling asleep on the very first night.  From there, it was smooth sailing.

Jesse and Kelly Big Sur signature

Jesse and Kelly Big Sur washed signature

Long Live Big Sur!

Big Sur Over the Years

Big Sur 2000


This weekend, we are headed to Big Sur for our annual camping trip with the family. We’ve been going to this particular campground, once every summer, since I was 4 years old. My mom even went with us one year when she was only FIVE DAYS postpartum after birthing my sister! That’s hardcore dedication.

I can’t tell you how special it is to bring my own children to the same place that I used to go every year with my family. This is our 4th year bringing our kids, so we’re probably about due for a brush with death poison oak.

I take Jesse to the airport straight from Big Sur, where he will fly to Dallas to start his new job. This move is getting real, people! For now, we will just enjoy our last few days with our CA friends and family. Enjoy these pictures that stretch throughout the years!

Big Sur 2001



2003, just weeks after graduating from High School



Big Sur 2011 just our family










Big Sur 2013

2013– I leave you with a final shot of AJ in his makeshift high chair!

Our July 4th At The Beach

Patriotic Kids in stroller

The first thing we did on our July Fourth was attend the home-spun parade I grew up attending EVERY year as a child. Yup, just as hokey as ever! Isn’t it funny how the small town things of our childhood stick with us and make us love them anyways?

Patriotic Black and White Car


Old Car in Parade

And now some shots of my gorgeous offspring.

Beautiful boy at parade

Happy Gregory closeup

Handsome AJ

Horses in Templeton Parade

Patriotic trailer

Old Black and White car

Jesse and my sister Janelle decided to talk about movies the entire time. Oh well. I had the hokey parade ALLLLL to myself. Muah.

Watching the parade

After the parade, we went home and all took long naps. Later in the evening, we went to the beach with my family and a few friends to watch the fireworks and eat tri-tip.

Holding AJ at beach

couple on the beach

Beach with Dadda

AJ on beach

I was basically freezing the entire time.

Kelly on beach

This was the only good picture I got of Gregory because he was running around and having so much fun.

Gregory with a feather

Watching fireworks

Fireworks at the beach…so pretty!

FireworksHow was your holiday? Hope it was as grand as ours!