ten thoughts on a wednesday |41|

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we've had a hazy couple of weeks back in london. jet lag + four month sleep regression + growth spurts + very hot (read: energy-sapping!) weather + lots of busy getting back into the swing of things = bleary! but it feels so good to be home, and we love our life.
pictures below: back to the playground in our garden, to early morning snuggles in bed, to football class in holland park, to familiar toys and routines, to our pretty neighborhood.

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i recently listened to oprah's interview with diana nyad, the first person in the world to swim 110 miles from cuba to florida without a shark tank. i was blown away by diana's story. she swam for fifty three hours straight!!! in outrageously difficult conditions, and at the age of 64. whattt!!! when people told her that her goal was impossible to accomplish, that her body simply could not do it, she responded with this thought (not a direct quote...for some reason i can't access oprah's website right now...): "i'm not talking about what the body - the human heart and lungs and muscles - is capable of. i'm talking about what the human spirit is capable of. no one can measure that. it's infinite." her mantra as she swam through waves and jellyfish and darkness and exhaustion was: "find a way." so, so inspiring.

i have been reflecting a lot lately on my relationship with pictures ... and i'm trying to find the right balance in my life when it comes to documenting things with images. while we were in the states, i experimented with taking less photos, and i finished the trip really wishing i had more pictures of my boys with their cousins, and realizing that taking snapshots actually helps me to be more present in many scenarios. at the same time, i loved being a bit more disconnected from my phone (as camera) and just not spending as much brain space on digitally capturing moments. we just live in such an image-focused world these days ... i've found myself almost obsessing over getting the best shot and even about getting a better shot that someone else - and that kind of scares me! but photographs bring me so much joy as they stand precious time still and help me to remember. all that to say, i'm just on a journey of finding my own right balance (i think it's definitely different for everyone).

a long and quite intense heat wave hit london this summer. in previous years that we've lived here, there's about five days that i'd classify as uncomfortably hot. this year it was more than a month! we missed three weeks of that while we were in the states, but it was still soooo warm when we returned to london. i know complaining about 90 degrees seems pretty wimpy, but when there's no air conditioning and you have a baby strapped to your body a lot of the time - 90 degrees + humidity is brutal!
it has cooled down over the past week or so, but we spent the beginning of august cooling down in any way we could! last saturday we went to the serpentine lido in hyde park as a family. the serpentine is the big lake that stretches through the park, and there's a little part of it partitioned off for swimming. it was so dang cool to take a dip in the middle of a huge city - it felt amazing! the famous installation artist christo had recently put up a crazy, cool structure in the middle of the serpentine, which made our swim all the awesomer.

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this past weekend, gabriel started letting out his first genuine giggles. happiest sound in the universe. any and all monotony and chaos and challenge that comes from taking care of one's children 24/7 totally melts away with the tiniest little baby chuckle! oh my gosh i love this blue-eyed boy like craaaazy!

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you know what i would give my right arm for? a garbage disposal in my kitchen sink. okay, not really. but i'd probably seriously give a pinky toe for one...

last night my the intention i set for myself in yoga class was "i am disciplined." i really think that working to master self-discipline is essentially the purpose of life.

this past weekend, we took a quick road trip to wales! some dear friends from my mission recently bought a cottage in pembrokeshire and they invited us to come stay and play with them. ironically, after that six-week-long sunny heatwave across the uk, the weather during our visit to wales was really crummy. ha! but we had a great time reconnecting with friends, cozying up in their cute little cottage, breathing in fresh nature and sea air, and driving along stunning coastline and through devastatingly cute villages. there was a little window of semi-dry weather which happened to coincide with our passing a big sandy beach, so we quickly pulled off the road. moses had a blast running around (and afterwards eating an ice cream cone :) ). there is so much beauty in this world! and especially on this little island that we live on.

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^^ there are hydrangeas everywhere in wales! i was stunned by these blossoms on the bush just outside our friends' cottage! ^^
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we visited a little welsh branch of the church of jesus christ of latter-day saints last sunday. there was one speaker in sacrament meeting who just talked about how utterly awesome god is and god's creations are. she encouraged the congregation to take time to "breathe in the essence of god." because it is all around us! after her talk was over, we all stood and sang the hymn "all creatures of our god and king," and i felt filled to the brim with awe, gratitude and the beauty of god's love.
dear mother earth, who day by day
unfoldest blessings on our way
the flower and fruits that in thee grow
let them his glory also show
alleluia! oh praise him! alleluia! 

next week we leave for a two week roadtrip along the coast starting in barcelona and ending in monaco. usually when we plan a travel adventure i want to make sure i know about every single amazing thing we could possibly see/experience, but i'm trying out a different approach with this trip. i'm deciding to just view every thing we do or see as a bonus rather than a planned expectation. and if we don't get to half the things that people say are awesome, oh well! we had tons of bonuses anyway!

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happy wednesday. isn't life beautiful??


  1. That pic of Mo with his ice cream is adorable! My son, Charlie (10 months), tried feeding himself gelato on Monday with a spoon with similarly messy results. Your boys are so sweet! And that hydrangea - dreamy!

    Not sure if you ever plan to travel to Canada, but if you ever come to Victoria BC (my hometown) you must visit Butchart Gardens; the flowers are amazing especially spring and summer. They do a fabulous job at the “12 days of Christmas” during winter, too.

  2. That coastline from Barcelona to Monaco is beautiful and yes there is lots to see and do. Have fun

  3. Mo in his sleepers makes me want grandchildren!! The boys are so adorable. hydrangeas are one of my favorites! We used to have a family home at the Jersey shore and they are everywhere there. Nice that you have been able to have a lot of time off this summer while the baby is so little.

  4. I spent midsummer evening on that beach! It's so lovely there. My mum's family used to go there on family holidays in the 60s and I love the feeling of continuity from different generations going back to the same places.

  5. I totally feel you in regards to the picture taking anxiety. When I see other's perfect images day in and day out on social media, it somehow does something to my subconscious brain and makes me strive to always be "ON" to capturing that perfect photo. And it's soo stressful to me when I'm trying to "live in the moment", and how it's frankly not possible many times to capture that perfect picture I so badly want to capture. It's real life working against me. (And sometimes kids just don't want to act well for a camera!) This summer I took a COMPLETE break from social media. I decided for my own benefit to check into my favorite blogs and social media accounts for one day every 6 weeks. It's been sooo healing for my soul. I noticed that my "perfect picture taking" anxiety has majorly decreased because I'm not subconsciously trying to keep up with the perfect images of peoples lives I was used to seeing daily. This summer I felt like I could really live life in the moment and take whatever pictures I wanted too without the worry over getting things perfect. I'm really growing to love the imperfection in all my images, or even lack of images! I decided to choose to let my photos represent real, true life, how it was really lived in that moment. It's been so fun catching up on your blog tonight.

  6. Re: picture-taking - I've been there! I try to see it as a fun hobby instead of needing to document a particular moment in order to remember it. If I get a great pic of my kid or a sunset (and occasionally I do), wonderful! If I get mostly "misses," it just reminds me that professional photogs and even other bloggers are taking hundreds of photos just to get one amazing one.

    When I go back through the year to make a photo book (approx. 35-40 images), I find there's really enough to jog my memory on special moments - and a poorly lit, slightly blurry picture of my 4-year-old putting together her big-girl bed with her dad does the trick just as well (or better than) the posed picture in the botanical garden where we're all looking at the camera (because all that reminds me of is that we had to make the kid sit still long enough to get a good one!). Think back on all the photos you treasure from your childhood that are haphazard candids, bad indoor lighting, or have someone's eyes closed - but it still lights you up to remember those people and that time and place.

  7. How cute are these brothers together!


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