Life is Good at the Beach

It has been a while since I've put anything on the blog. I've got projects to share that I'll be posting soon. Like everyone else, we've been busy and time flies by like clouds passing in the sky. We've had many beautiful days playing at the beach. We've chased birds, built sand castles, and played in the ocean. We've visited with family, gone on many walks, and splashed around in the swimming pool. Recently we went to the pumpkin patch, ran around in the hay and fed the goats. It has been a great past two months. Here are a few pics to capture some of these memorable moments. Love the beach!So much fun playing in the sandRunning aroundFeeding babyMore funLife is goodAt my friend from first grade- Rachelle's wedding in SBHangin with a horse and a few goatsPumpkin patch fun … [Read more...]

Our Trip to the Eastern Caribbean

We recently got back from being on a cruise and it was 1o days of bliss! I had never been on a cruise and didn't have too many expectations. Our experience far exceeded what I thought it would be. The weather was beautiful, the beaches we went to were paradise, and the activities and everything about the ship was fabulous. I would absolutely do it again! I did miss my little Sophia but I must admit it was nice to have a break. Next time, I think I'll bring her along. I know she would love it! Here are just a few pics from our vacation. This was our first night on the ship after dinner. Happy to be on vacation! It was a little breezy this night (had to hold my dress down!).  Hanging out at the pool after dinner one night. The morning we arrived to St. Thomas.  Laying out on the ship, reading books and listening to music.  Cruising around the ship.  We rented a seadoo in Antigua. This was fun!  This was at the beach in St. Thomas.  The water was perfectly clear and warm.  What a great day at the most beautiful beach in Antigua. A beautiful beach in Tortola.  Departing one of the ports before dinner.  Feeling blessed.  Sunset before departing a port.  Driving to one of the beaches in St. Thomas, looking down at our ship.  Just got off the ship- visiting Nassau in the Caribbean.  Enjoying dinner.  Picture of the ship.  Pictures before dinner. How's the fake background?! Totally cheesy but it was fun!  It was fun getting dressed up.  Tortola  Another … [Read more...]

Around the Table

I miss family. You know, the every one sitting around the dinner table kind of family.  Before dinner, kids bustling about in and out of the house, mom yelling, “Just stay in or out! Not both!”  The pangs of hunger racking my guts so bad that I truly believe, “If I don’t eat soon I’ll die!” I yell out! Around dinner time when the meal is simmering, stewing or whatever it’s doing to produce its aroma aloft in the air seems to be a time of congregation around the kitchen.  My two older brothers and I are roaming around the half cooked meal like lions circling their next prey.  Being the youngest of three boys in our family meant that I was lucky if I was tossed a scrap of something ninety percent eaten by my older brothers.  Mom would chase us out of “her” kitchen with a wooden spoon bellowing, “Get outta here! It’s not ready yet,” with all the love she could muster! My mom’s dinners were so good that a lot of times my brothers and I would be perfectly willing to put up with a few swats from the dreaded wooden spoon for a bite of this, a nibble of that.  Actually laughing while mom beat our behinds with her wooden spoon.  It did sting but like I said, Mom’s cookin is Moms cookin!  On the other hand, dad’s belt was something to fear. But thankfully that’s another story on another topic. As the five of us sit down at the table for the nightly feast, no prayers are said, no thankful words.  It’s all business.  My brothers and I are attacking the meal with great fervor.  … [Read more...]

Change

I myself have spent the last 13 years hovering in the clouds.  Living at high elevation seemed to be my calling.  Actually it has been my passion for small mountain life and the snowboarding that comes every winter.  I recently saw a bumper sticker in my town of Mammoth Lakes that simply red “My life is your vacation: Mammoth Local”.  It Couldn’t be better said than this.  Can you imagine living in a town where everyone knows you?  The checkers at the super market call you by your first name. I see my friends daily whether they are strolling down the the “main drag” in town or pull up next to me in our “four light” town.  Four traffic lights!  That’s right…four, Quattro.  But of course with any good comes the not-so-good. Get pulled over and everyone knows.  Get injured or seriously ill, everyone knows.  Marital problems, everyone’s a therapist.  Kid on drugs, you’re totally screwed.  Go to 12 step meetings…well, that could go either way I suppose.  My point is that choosing a life of intimacy in a small town has been part of my life, our lives, and the only life Sophia has known for her duration of eighteen months.  Change is coming. Through life’s circumstances my family and I will soon find ourselves in the clutches of another small town surrounded by another small town and so on and so on.  Life in San Clemente, California.  How can a town call themselves “small” when it is surrounded by a megalopolis?  What am I going to do?  Will I succeed at the supermarket … [Read more...]

More Captured Moments

The biggest reason I started My Sophia Ryan was to document Sophia's memorable moments. I've been distracted with sharing my DIY projects. So here are just a few photos from this last month. Okay, more than a few. Time flies when you're having fun and I'm really glad I have all these photos to look back on in the future. I love capturing and preserving these precious moments, they fill my heart, they help me remember. How adorable are they? This is Sophia's best friend Timmy. He's four months younger than her and the cutest little boy you've ever seen. It's been so much fun watching the two of them grow and change month to month.Out for an afternoon walk, enjoying beautiful Mammoth.We spend a lot of time at the park. Sophia loves the swings, the slides, the other kids, and everything else that comes with going to the park. When we drive up to the park, she starts kicking her legs and waving her arms with enthusiasm. It's so cute!To the side of the park is this beautiful creek. She loves the creek-she really loves anywhere where there is water.Another park day.Watching her favorite movie, A Turtles Tale.These pictures didn't come out very good but I'm so glad I got them. She was sitting with her baby and feeding her on her own (middle picture). It was so cute because I didn't tell her to do this. Then I told her to give her baby a hug. I had never told her to do this before and she surprised me with giving herself a hug (first picture). It was so sweet. … [Read more...]

Fabric Covered Diaper Wipe Cases

Yesterday I realized it had been days since my last DIY project. I know this sounds kind of silly. I can't imagine saying something like that a year ago. I was never really into craft projects until Sophia. Anyway, I've mentioned this before that these simple little projects I do on here really do something for me. They are fulfilling. It's fun creating things and I like sharing my projects on here because I hope to inspire others to create as well. So yesterday I felt the need to create. I came up with these fabric covered diaper wipe cases. I didn't have any expectations. I just thought I'd give it a shot. I really like the way they came out. And very little effort was involved. I think that's what pleased me the most. It was a quick and easy project with pretty good results. Anyone could make these, seriously. You should give it a shot and let me know how they come out. A Few Supplies Needed glue gun, scissors, fabric, travel size diaper wipe case, and some sort of trim like ribbon.I forgot to take pictures of the first step but it's basic. Cut 2 pieces of fabric about 9 in x 4 1/2 in. As you can see in the bottom left picture I made the pieces a little bit smaller. They don't reach the edge of the case. I did this because I used ribbon to trim the edges and it came out better this way than having the trim go all the way to the edge. It was too thick when I put the ribbon on top when I  had the fabric reach the edge. Once the fabric is cut, use your glue gun to glue … [Read more...]

Allen’s Final Chapter

This is part 3 of an inspirational story written by Sophia's Dad. You can read part 1 here and part 2 here. Gripping the edges of the dentist’s chair while the drilling commenced and waiting for the assistant to suck out the saliva in my mouth before I aspirate into my lungs, I feel my phone vibrate in my pocket.  It’s 5:35pm on Tuesday.  Given a brief moment of reprieve from the seemingly endless drilling, scraping and oh yeah; readjusting that dam device that keeps your mouth cranked open almost to the point of permanently creating a smile like the Joker from Batman I peak at my cell.  “Alan just passed away five minutes ago.” His estranged father at his bedside, his fiancé driving home from work having just left the Care Center (which I admitted Allen to just a week prior) a few hours earlier. “He sat on the edge of the bed,” straining to readjust himself to get his cancer filled lungs to cooperate as best as possible. He simply said, “I can’t hold on any longer, I’m ready to go.”  His head dipped down on his chest. There were a few feeble attempts to fill his lungs with precious oxygen and he was gone.  He left this world with a whimper, not a bang. To some, Allen’s story was a tragic story with all the makings of a “tear jerker” you might see on The Lifetime channel.  For others, it marked the end of a long and hard battle with the ‘The Big C’. As I read the text while allowing the dentist to have his way with my teeth despite my silent protest, a … [Read more...]

All You Need Is Love Sign

I haven't gotten this project right yet but I'm going to share it with you guys anyway. I really like this frame. It suits the rustic decor that goes with living in the mountains. Originally, my mom made this sign for our wedding we had here in Mammoth. She stenciled the letters of our names on a piece burlap, painted the letters white and framed it. After the wedding, I decided I wanted to stencil "all you need is love" on drop cloth and use the frame. Rather than using stencils, I printed out my own letters using Georgia font (size 400). I was going to trace them on the drop cloth and paint the letters the same way I did the monogrammed pillows I made recently. My husband thought that sounded like too much work and suggested he spray paint the letters I had printed then glue them on the drop cloth. He talked me into and it ended up looking pretty good. This is before I glued the letters down. I wasn't crazy about the drop cloth. It was too light in contrast with the color of the frame. I don't know, I just didn't like it. So I pulled all the letters off the drop cloth, stapled a piece of burlap over the board and glued the letters back on. I know it sounds a little crazy but I do like the burlap better. And now, I'm still not in love with it! I like it, but I think it would look better if the letters were painted on! I'll give it a few days to see if I really like it. I may have to sneak a quick paint job in without my husband seeing (I don't want to hurt his … [Read more...]

Hamper Basket Makeover

I like having a good project to work on- something to paint or re cover is always fun. I enjoy looking around thrift stores for something I can re do. This may seem weird to some people but it is sort of therapeutic for me and gratifying to see the transformation. When I spotted this old hamper at a thrift store, I knew it would be fun and easy to re do. Actually, if I had the right style of house, this would have been a cool vintage piece to fix up. I would have re painted it the same yellow and cleaned it up a bit. My house is not ecletic at all though. It wouldn't work in our house as a vintage piece.  All I needed to do with this was wash it off with a hose and give it two coats of spray paint. I used Rust-Oleum gloss protective French Roast.Once the paint was all dry (I gave it 24 hours), I unscrewed the top and used a staple gun to cover it with my favorite material- drop cloth! I say favorite, because I've done a bunch of projects using drop cloth you can find here. I like it because it is sturdy and it looks like linen.Here is how it looked once it was painted and the top was covered. It needed something extra, so I trimmed the lid with smooth nickel furniture nails. I think it gave it the finishing touch it needed. Before and After Total Cost- $20 Hamper- $5 Spray Paint & Furniture Nails- $15This was so simple to do and came out pretty good. What do you think? … [Read more...]

Summertime Pics

As I scroll through the dozens of photos I've taken of Sophia in just the last month, I can't help but feel overwhelmed with love and happiness. Sometimes I think back to the 72 hours it took to bring her into this world and I can barely even remember all the pain I went through because that finite amount of suffering seems so utterly insignificant in comparison to the infinite amount of joy and value she has brought into our lives. So it's no wonder why I take so many pictures of her. I can't help but want to capture the so many great moments of her life. With mobile phone photography it's easy to capture every waking (and non waking) moment of her life. I'm not sure if this is such a good thing. I hadn't thought about how this may affect her until now. As she gets older, she may act differently when she knows the camera is there. This may make her self-aware which could be a bad thing because a lack of self awareness is what makes children so precious and innocent. This is something for me to think about. Do you take a lot of pictures of your children? What are your thoughts on this? Anyway, as I glance over at my little toe headed daughter, her ink blue eyes catch mine and I can barely suppress a smile and think, I can't imagine my life without her and I'm so grateful I've had the opportunity to capture so many great moments of her life that I will someday get to share with her. We had a great time at Timmy's First Birthday. She wasn't happy with me trying to put a … [Read more...]