Random Acts of Kind Ask Away Fridays.

You see what I did there with the title, right? I am once again combining #AskAwayFriday with Ladies Only Blog Share Link Party!

Speaking of which, are you sick of me yet? I posted four times this week! A new record. I don’t know how you all do it. Three times a week is perfect for me, because each post takes awhile due to the amount of photos I upload. And speaking of photos, there are gorgeous photos on the always-inspiring blog from Beth of Structure In An Unstructured Life. I am so happy to swap with her today, because she is always full of wisdom on a whole host of topics, and her questions don’t disappoint.

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To see Beth’s answers to my questions, go HERE.

To see who else is participating or to learn how to join the fun, head over to visit hosts: Penny from The Real Housewife of Caroline County, Amber from The Bold Fab Mom, Tiffany from Mrs Tee Love Life Laughter and Stacey from This Momma’s Ramblings. #AskAwayFriday is their beautiful and ever-growing creation! And contact me if you want to swap some time!

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And now, my answers:

1. Your kids are in the toddler and preschooler ages. What are your favorite and least favorite things about these ages?

That’s such a good question because I was just rambling about this to my husband the other day. The thing with Des is that he’s such an independent kid and at an independent age. He’s learning to run and climb and he’s finding his voice through sentences. We have always been a VERY tight unit, since his rough post-birth week and so much of our bonding and connections have been made through touch. So my least favorite thing about this age is when I just want to squeeze him for ages and he squirms off of my lap and says, “No, Mama!” On the other hand, my favorite things about this age are the physical and language developments.

He’s funny! He’s witty! Who knew?! (I had a suspicion)

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And Scarlet is the opposite – SO affectionate. Could hug me all day. In fact, she wanted to cuddle with me in our queen-size bed right up until it was taken away from our house! My favorite thing about her is that she totally grounds me. She’ll be the soother who will say, “It’s ok…” And maybe it should be the reverse more often, and I do believe it is enough, but she clears away my anxiety cobwebs better than anything I’ve EVER tried. (adds them too) Least favorite is when she sometimes whines incessantly.

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(Disney World sneak peek photo alert!)

2. Since it’s Valentine’s Day, which “traditional” Valentine gift would you like best – chocolates, flowers, or jewelry?

I answered a question like this and it gave the option of “all of the above” and I STILL answered just chocolates. I really do love them all, but even talking about Valentine’s Day makes me crave chocolates. It’s as if they taste better if they’re heart-shaped.

3. So when I discovered your series of posts about how you met and ended up with your husband, I seriously spent the better part of an afternoon glued to the screen – I couldn’t stop reading them! What I loved most about them, was that I could see the story as an epic, fairy-tale love story, and yet I could also completely relate to the joys and struggles of falling in love. What do you hope most that people take away from your story after reading it?

I LOVED when you told me that. It surprised me when I heard this, but one of the best compliments I got about my story was from a friend telling me that she was initially afraid to read it, for fear it would make her how-we-met with her husband (have known each other since they were kids) seem boring. However, she read it and felt that my story just made hers seem even better. And it should. I hope people read my story and take away from it that just finding someone to love, who will love you back, is already the miracle and the magic. And to never lose hope. Sometimes life, and people, will surprise you.

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4. You recently traveled to Disney with your family – what was the most unexpected part of your trip?

I go through anxiety times in my life. It can be dormant for years or terrible for months. There’s not a whole lot of rhyme or reason. I was surprised on my trip by how UN-anxious I was all of the time. Through traveling by air and all of the hassles of doing that with two kids, to very long days at theme parks. The only time I even had a near panicked feeling was at the end of our 12 hour day at Disney, we had to board a hot and crowded monorail and I felt a little claustrophobic. It was short, though.

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5. You’ve lived on both the east and the west coast – what is your favorite part about each?

I love the epic beauty of the west coast. It’s not a comfortable beauty, like how it is here. It’s over-the-top beautiful and surprisingly and breathtaking. I loved never needing heat or a/c. I loved no heat, no humidity and no freezing temperatures either. I loved not having tons of mosquitoes. I am always California-dreamin. I loved sunsets over the ocean:

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And I love fall and spring on the east coast. And being near family and friends. Not having to board a plane so much..

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6. Besides your own, what’s your favorite love story?

I am a bit shellshocked by this question, and I rarely struggle to think of words. So kudos to you! I think the old me would have instantly sought out a love story with passion and fate and magic and that whole movie-esque quality, and I still do love that, but with the solid foundation as well. I guess longevity is what impresses me. And good longevity – not “we haven’t slept in the same bed in 20 years” longevity. I’m going to answer all three sets of my grandparents. The ones who have known each other since first grade or so. (my dad’s) The ones who were together until the end, and even after she had passed and he was ailing with Alzheimer’s, a last moment of clarity was to tell me how much he loved her, always. (my father’s parents) Then there are my mother’s parents. Nana was/is a rebel, even at 100. They met and fell in love on a vacation, I believe, and it was later in life than most back when. They were engaged fast. They lived a BIG life. They were beautiful. They were married for over 70 years.

I’m sure you can pick them out below.

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Edited to add that my favorite FICTIONAL love story is between Desmond and Penny on LOST! Be still, my heart.

7. Your pictures on your blog are amazing! At what age did you start taking pictures, and when did you develop a passion for photography?

I started collecting cameras when I was young – seven or so. At first I thought I wanted to be a filmmaker. I thought that for many years because I was obsessed with moving images and music together. I did a film internship in college and realized I was more obsessed with the stills. It was amazing to see how a collection of images could make a movie. I wanted to make images, not movies. I had a dry spell while I lived on the west coast, which is very unfortunate because it was gorgeous there and I missed a lot. It was after Scarlet was born that I realized I couldn’t possibly miss her photographing her joy, hilarity & beauty.

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8. If you had to choose one cause you are most passionate about, what would it be?

Ohh..What questions. You are good. Really good. I’m soooo.. anti-intolerance (do the two cancel each other out. no?), anti-cancer, anti-cruelty. So very much. Especially since I began the whole pregnancy/parenting thing I am disgusted and appalled by the horrendous chemicals companies keep being made to pull from our foods. Umm..why are they in there to begin with??

9. My husband is a football coach, and I support him by taking the kids (and myself) to all of his games. He supports me by reading and sharing his thoughts on my blog posts. What things do you and Cassidy do to support one another?

Well it’s been smoother in the last year. We do support each other’s work, as well as each other’s enjoyment. I’m all for him taking trips, having weekends to himself, seeing live music, seeing movies, seeing friends. And even though I don’t jump at the chance as often, I know he supports the exact same for me. This will be my summer to take some tentative first steps for myself.

10. You get the big heart shaped box of chocolates for Valentine’s Day. What’s the first kind you eat, and what’s the last?

Well if the big box is from See’s Candies, I eat the strawberry cream, vanilla cream, butterscotch square, all the buttercreams, bordeaux (wink, wink Rachel), California brittle, mocha, peanut butter pattie and hazelnut mocha. (taking notes, Cassidy?) ALL nut-free. The last thing I eat..? Couldn’t tell! They’re equally pleasurable. Now, however, if I get a non See’s Candies box of chocolates, I eat the caramel or peanut butter or vanilla first (if they’re there) and I eat coconut, cherry and any with nuts last.


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(Fantastic graphic by Crystal Ponti!)

Thanks for sticking around for #LOBS! This weekend’s theme is “Random Acts of Kindness” and all of the good things we can do for each other. If you have already blogged about an act of kindness, please link up here! If not, you can link up any recent posts that might brighten our days. Inspiring stories, recipes, photos, etc. Here are my Ladies Only Blog Share Link Party co-hosts:

Michelle from A Dish of Daily Life

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Crystal from Mommifried

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Angela from WriterMom’s Blog

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Kristen from Four Hens and a Rooster

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We are also re-welcoming a cherished guest host, Amber from “City Girl On Hicks Farm“.

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We’d all love to connect with you outside of our LOBS Link Party…Facebook, Twitter, Google +, Pinterest, Instagram…wherever you’d like to connect! My buttons are all at the top of my blog. Write me a note letting me know that you are visiting from the Ladies Only Blog Share or #LOBS, either in the comments below or feel free to send me a tweet or leave me a note on Facebook! I will definitely respond and follow you back! And the rest of my co-hosts would be thrilled to meet you as well!

Now, let’s get started on the link party! Have fun and visit the links below. We ask that you try to visit at least three. Remember to leave a thoughtful comment on the new blogs you’ve discovered and let them know you’re visiting from the Ladies Only Blog Share Link Party! Feel free to pin your blog post to the Ladies Only Blog Share Pinterest board, too! In the URL field, place the link to your post. The name field should contain the title of your post.

Use the hashtag #LOBS when tweeting! Doesn’t it have a nice ring to it?

A few simple requests are…

** Follow and visit all of the hosts and co-hosts

** Link up your favorite post! Please try to stick to our weekly theme

** Please share this link party so others can join

** Visit at least three of the blogs on the link party

And now, party time:

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  1. I LOVE those Scarlet faces. So cute!
    I’m feeling very anti-cancer…two important people in my life have cancer, my father in law and a very good friend. It’s hard. It’s hard to see the struggle. It’s hard to internalize it. I end up in tears sometimes thinking about it.

  2. I would definitely share all of my Valentine’s chocolate with you. I’d even give you first dibs. Yes, I agree about the epic beauty of the West Coast. And one day – one day, I really need to read the series here about you and Cassidy.

    1. Yes! I guess you have me in real life and I have you, so reading such stories isn’t as cool as long driveway goodbyes.
      Let’s share chocolates in 2014!

  3. Oh gosh- how I just adore learning more about you Tamara!!!! Those faces of Scarlett are PRICELESS!!! I love that you started loving cameras at such an early age… that’s a gift- that’s what gifts do… they are in you from the start.

    CHOCOLATES!!!! I am laughing so hard about how you know every single detail of those candies!!! What flavors and kinds… you are TOO CUTE!!!

    I seriously need to take an afternoon and read through your love story… gah! I need a free afternoon!! I adore the ones you shared about your grandparents… ya know, those generations knew how to love RIGHT!!!

    1. Chris, I have to confess – I went to the See’s Candies website and pretended I was making a custom mix, so that I could get photos and titles of all of their milk chocolate, nut-free ones. I know them by sight but I wanted to get the names right, just in case…a man wants to buy me chocolates.
      I’d love if you read my love story! Who has time for that, though?!

  4. Happy #AskAwayFriday! Let me say you just made me want to find a box of See’s! I’ve never had that but I am at this moment seriously wishing I could. I actually saw the store for them in Hawaii but didn’t ever walk in (totally regretting that now). LOL I hope you have a great Valentine’s Day and an awesome weekend!

    1. Happy #AskAwayFriday to you!! You can definitely mail order See’s, and do a whole custom mix to your liking, and they will ship for weather protection. However, it’s still not the same. Not as fresh! And when you do go into the shop, they always give you samples. Yum!!
      Anyway, next time you see one, do not pass go! You have to try it.
      Have a great weekend!!

  5. Sweet T- you were right, the love story ? would have been a thinker for me, not too long of one (my folks, of course) but, it would take thought… tough one… LOVED your AAF!

    School is canceled for tomorrow so I’m glad we got some #LOBS reading to do… 🙂
    XO, Sweet T!

    1. I was honestly thinking of movies and TV shows first! There are a lot of those! I decided to go for real, but I would have picked Desmond and Penny from LOST for fictional love stories!

  6. I am so enjoying getting to know you more and more each week. I just read Des’s birth story, what an amazing and honest moment you shared. Realising more and more how much in common we have.

    1. Thank you! It’s actually three parts but I only included the link to one. It was a very traumatic experience at the time, and sharing that story not only helped me, it helped a friend of mine who had a baby and dealt with that same mean doctor!

    1. Yay! I love that people still care..it’s been a gazillion years. I’ll have them up Wednesday, I think. And maybe SeaWorld Monday. ‘Cause Monday is a holiday so I don’t know that I want to bring out the big guns on a holiday! Although I may not be able to resist..

  7. I am so not sick of you nor go be ever. I love that you posted 4 times this week and seriously I love, love, love you, your blog, your photography and pretty much everything here. Sorry to sound over the top, but you get the point, I love you. And Happy Valentine’s Day!! 🙂

    1. You could never sound over the top. In fact, this comment lit up my snow day! Happy Valentine’s Day to YOU! Since I love you, I think we all need to celebrate together, even virtually.

  8. I love ALL of your photos, but the baby pics of Scarlett always bring a huge smile to my face. And I always love that photo of your grandparents. I’m sure you’ve been told many times that you look A LOT like your grandmother when she was young!! I think sometime you should write about the big life they lived … I want to know more 🙂

    1. Actually I haven’t heard that a lot, but thank you! If I could age like her, I’ll be set. When I was born she was nearly 70, but had the body/energy/everything of a 50-year-old.
      I’d love to write more about her. I may need my mom to do a guest post. My mom’s a writer too!

    1. I was just telling a friend that I have never ever looked for sour candy, hard candy or gummy candy over chocolate! Scarlet totally does, though. So odd.

  9. You deserve a relaxing weekend after your busy blogging week! Three posts a week is perfect, isn’t it? OK, let’s be honest, some weeks I struggle to get 3 done. Way to crank ’em out this week. Love the #LOBS & Ask Away pairing. Finally, I’m with Allie. Giggling and anticipation for the rest of your Disney photos! Can.not.wait. Happy Valentine’s Day, my friend!

    1. Three a week is great! And I love the M, W, F schedule. I used to do S, T, Th but then I’d have to work on weekends! Now I take three days OFF! And yes, I struggle too. Very much.
      I can’t wait to show everyone my Disney photos!!
      Happy Valentine’s Day to you!!

  10. We have the EXACT same taste buds for boxes of candy! I got truffles, flowers and a teddy hugging the vase this morning. I need to scout out the vanilla cream, just sayin’!
    I love your three love stories. I will tell Nana later!

    1. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree! Although when you take Scarlet into consideration, it does! She has very different sweet tooth tastes than I do.
      And my favorite fictional love story is Desmond/Penny from LOST!

    1. Thanks! That photo was a favorite for years. Sadly now I look at it and see the imperfections, technically, but the photo itself still makes me smile.

    1. Right?! I got a little panicky with the heat and crowds, and just being DONE. Imagine if we had waited until AFTER the fireworks. I heard it could take hours just to get out of the park since the only way out is monorail, ferry or…bus? Helicopter? Hot air balloon?

    1. I’m so happy too! I always look forward to your posts.
      And my friend recently said, “I wish someone would push me around all day!” And her husband said, “I can get you a scooter?” It does exist for adults!

  11. Oooooh, these *were* great questions!! (and I had never seen that photo with Scarlet as a baby with the polar bear stuffed animal. SO ADORBS I CAN HARDLY STAND IT!) I loved reading about all of your grandparents. Aw!! That kind of longevity–the real kind– is just amazing and inspiring. –Lisa

    1. Sometimes I realize I have a treasure trove of old photos to use. I don’t want to keep repeating and boring you all! Especially since I am SO slow about uploading new ones.
      Happy Valentine’s Day, Dose Girls!

  12. Those were some awesome questions! I love to tune in on Fridays just to find out a little more about my fav blogger 🙂 Happy valentine’s Day to you mu friend and I hope you get lots of heart chocolates!

    1. AW, I am blushing! I loved your post today. Happy Valentine’s Day! My mom sent me some valentine M&Ms and that definitely made my day. I had to hide them from the kids. I think Des might be too young for them. He doesn’t have a lot of teeth, although they do melt in your mouth..

  13. I have never been to the western US – but I feel the same way with eastern and western Canada. The west is so big and dramatic. The east is more historic and… rugged? That is the best I can come up with at this moment.
    Hope you get some chocolate. There is a shocking lack of chocolates at my house at the moment.

    1. Historic and rugged. Yeah, I can see that! I’ve done both coasts of the US and Canada, but I’ve never left North America.
      Cassidy just brought home fancy, organic chocolate with toffee pieces! Wheee!

  14. Tough questions! I still need to read your whole story of meeting Cassidy, but I will – soon! Love those pics of Scarlet, too! So glad Cassidy is supporting you this summer so we can meet each other in person at BlogU!

    1. Yes! What a perk. I believe he is away that weekend so I was scrambling to bring my kids with me and find a hotel and a sitter, but I really want to drive alone and stay in the dorms!

  15. Strawberry cream?? Nooo caramel 😛 Would you say your son is a lot more like your hubby and your daughter of you? Or the reverse? I’m more like my father, a lot of times girls are like their dads that’s why I ask. I agree intolerance leaves a bad taste in my mouth; that and ignorance. Although, sometimes it is blissful but those times are limited. Again, love your photos – especially the first one of your son, he looks soo much like your hubby haha 🙂 Happy Friday and V-day Love! -Iva

    1. Hey, I love them all! All chocolates..
      Hmm..people say he looks like me, other people say she does, some say both, some say neither. So hard to say! I do think Scarlet looks a lot like I did at her age, though.
      Happy Valentine’s Day!!

  16. I too am very anti-intolerance, makes my blood boil. We’re all people trying to make it through this world. And you’re making me hungry for chocolate! I can’t have any dairy at the moment, which has basically made me stop eating chocolate cold-turkey (easier than I thought!) but I bought some interesting dark chocolate today that contains no dairy. Nom nom nom!

    1. Yes! Why stop each other from fulfilling happiness? I’ll never understand it.
      Did you cut dairy because of nursing? That happened to so many friends of mine. Des had a very sensitive stomach from being on antibiotics at birth so I feared the dairy intolerance/allergy with him for a bit, but he never had any obvious symptoms and then it went away before we needed to do anything. With everyone I know, the babies outgrew it by their first birthday or before!

  17. Such cute pictures of Scarlet – the one with the bear might be my favorite!!
    And, Beth’s wedding picture? Gorgeous!!!
    You can have all my chocolate – I prefer a fun cocktail for my sweet calories!!

    1. I gave Beth a wedding photo of me to use, and she gave me one of hers. It was perfect! She’s gorgeous.
      This is why we’d get along so well. I’d give you all of my cocktails for all of your chocolate. Or we could do 75/25.

    1. haha, I never understand how they do it. I don’t think you could do the types of posts I do more than three times a week. There are certainly shorter/easier posts in this world. And people are amazing or something.

  18. I used to live in California and the only thing I liked about living out there was the weather. I enjoyed the long summers. But I missed the four seasons that I grew up with in the Midwest. Now I live in Spokane, WA and we don’t have four seasons here either. Maybe it is a west coast thing, I don’t know. Up here the winter lasts about six months, summer is about 2-3 months and some years fall and spring are non-existent. I guess I am rambling on my comment so I’ll stop now!

    As always I enjoyed your beautiful photos and reading your post. Happy Valentine’s Day and have a great weekend!

    1. WA sounds interesting to me. I need a lot of sunshine in my life. Western Mass can lack that a lot, but this time of year when the light comes back, I’ve found nearly every freezing day lately to have some bright sun. It takes getting used to, these New England winters, but the light is at the end of the tunnel.
      Have a great weekend!!

    1. Thanks! I nearly didn’t put it in. It’s my favorite, but then I thought I should answer real life, but I guess anything goes. I’m going to have to use that question again. I dig it!

  19. I so miss those chubby cheeks and big eyes – those photos of Scarlet are precious! My boy is still a hugger at the ripe old age of 12 1/2 ( you know how important the half is when you’re a kid) – I will be crushed when he grows out of that.

    1. I recently heard that eyes stay the same size for life, and that faces just grow into them. Is that true? Is it the same with cheeks?
      Maybe your son won’t grow out of it. Huggers for life, right?

  20. Ok! So much to love here! #1 LOVE the photo series of Scarlet! #2 LOVE your wedding dress #2 such a great description of Des’ personality I can totally see he is a little jokester! I was a huge fan of LOST and the desmond/penny lovestory was gripping… Sad, beautiful, gripping all that a GOOD lovestory is!

    1. I think I cried more during those Desmond/Penny episodes of LOST than I did at my own sordid love story. Kidding! I think I cried more for them BECAUSE it reminded me of my own story. With less time traveling. And less that Des, but more my Des.

  21. Okay Tamara, I was salivating as I read answer #10. Chocolate! How I love thee! LOL. How cool that you’ve been able to live on both coasts. I wish I could live on the west coast, but it would be too far from the Caribbean and trips home would take forever. Plus, they would cost an arm, a leg, and a torso. Alas!

    1. I always wanted to visit Hawaii, which made SO MUCH sense when I lived in California. Just a short morning flight or so. Not so anymore. However the Caribbean would be an easier trip and I’ve never been..

  22. Know what, I promised myself to start reading your How I Met story.. I haven’t though but soon I will! 🙂 I love How I Met Your Mother.. and your story looks like an inspiring one.. I’m hoping to be able to go back in the days when I met my husband and write something about it too. What you said about love being a miracle in itself is sooo true. Sometimes it’s hard for people to see that.

    I had a random act of kindness the other day but haven’t blogged about it yet so I thought that this week’s theme is timely.. only that I haven’t posted anything yet. Haha. Great job combining these bloghops as usual! 🙂

    1. Thank you! You totally don’t have to read it – it’s 20 parts! It’s nice snow day reading for up here.
      I really can’t wait to read any of these posts you may write!

  23. I agree that reading your how-I-met-my-husband story helped me to see mine through a different, more exciting lens. I’d like to sit down and try to remember every detail and write it all down. Usually, I sum it up in a few sentences but there could be more there!

    1. I remember reading about how you met Henry and I did love the story. And it is unique and most of all..umm..you guys are the most beautiful family EVER!

  24. Oh I so love these AAF and can’t wait for the toddler edition. In the meantime I’ll satisfy myself with the adult ones. I love the Disney sneak peek photos and can’t wait to read more about your trip. I know you have so much more to share. Your “how we met” story always amazes me and I spent chunks of my time reading it as well. You’re such an amazing person and I can’t say it often enough. 🙂

    1. I know. I really, really can’t wait until our #AAF..which is so soon! I really need to think of dynamite questions. Er..I mean Des does.
      I love that you read my story. I really can’t wait to be in person friends with you!!!!

    1. I actually always assumed I just wasn’t a nut person. I adore peanut butter (mostly when it’s stuffed in chocolate) but I don’t crave trail mix or feel any love for a nut bowl. Except..pistachios. How have I lived nearly three decades without them? They’re amazing.

  25. Those Scarlett pictures are pure perfection! Well, all your photos are beautiful – although beach and Disney ones make me envious and I may have to hate you now. LOL
    My favourite love story is that when my grandfather returned from the war and my grandmother unpacked his belongings; she found the army issued utensils that he used when eating on the battlefield. She washed and polished them up nice ….. and then used them to eat every meal, every day forward! There were her reminder that no matter how tough marriage and life got — they were blessed that he was still with them (he had been injured on the battlefield.) She even brought them to my wedding dinner. And after grandpa passed, and we couldn’t care for her at home anymore, she took them to the nursing home and used them until she died.
    *audible sigh*
    Please someone in Hollywood put that in a movie.

    1. It’s ok because I hate myself – myself from three weeks ago. I miss it a lot!
      That story is amazing. You should definitely, definitely publish it! Have you written about it on your blog? Don’t let my comments section be the only place to see this wonder!

  26. You were right! She did have some great questions! You are really right about the west. I live in the Southwest, as you know, and I feel the same way about the weather and the landscaping here in Arizona. It’s like a dream. We don’t have a beach near us though. I honestly could wait to get to one though. I’m enjoying being here way too much. 🙂 I love your pics for love stories. I actually have no happy endings in my family to go by, but I will say I pray my kids and grand kids will feel the way you do about me and Harroll. 🙂 I love that we are both passionate about the food! I’ve been an extreme food activist as well since I had JR.

  27. I just realized I never visited your blog on Friday! I think your 4 posts messed me up. Though I love seeing you post one extra time in the week! That photo of Scarlet next to the polar bear is priceless. I also hope you got your big box of See’s Candies yesterday.

    1. hah, it messed me up too! It feels weird trying to write again and I do think I need this long vacation as a break. I may rebel and do my Monday post in the afternoon rather than right at midnight. It’s a holiday!
      I didn’t get my See’s but I had sent some to my good friend whose birthday is today. The snow delayed it so she won’t get it until Tuesday. BOO!

  28. I grew up in California and was shocked to find mosquitoes here in DC…the humidity was the bigger shocker, though. I sometimes wonder why I ever moved.. haha

    1. Ohhh! California to DC sounds like a difference! I did Jersey to California, so I was pleasantly surprised by so much. Then doing California to MA was a little less drastic because I had always been on the east coast.
      (and I do sometimes wonder why we’re here..)

  29. ohmygosh, those photos of Scarlet!! It’s too much! Scarlet and Des sound like my two kids. Jasper is so so so so cuddly but he’s getting so big and lanky that the cuddling doesn’t quite work as well but he still insists. Everett, on the other hand, can’t get away from you fast enough which is too bad because he’s the more snuggleable. But then there are moments when he wants to snuggle and it’s wonderful. And See’s Candies? Divine.

    1. Last night Des wanted to snuggle for an hour! And he brings me books and then sits on my lap. That..is the best. However touch is such a way to bond with your baby, so it’s been an adjustment for me to find new ways to connect now that he’s not a baby anymore. Of course I find them and they’re grand, but I do see how people have a third baby or more! Not that we will, though.

  30. Oh my, those three pictures of Scarlett are wonderful on their own, but put together like that, I’m just smiling uncontrollably over here 🙂 Those eyes!!
    And I love no heat, no humidity and no freezing temperatures…but it’s a trade-off, isn’t it? We can’t have our gorgeous fall seasons without having those things other times of the year. Actually I wish I was somewhere like Central America right now, then the humidity wouldn’t be so bad 🙂
    Your grandparents sound like such great role models!

    1. Totally a trade-off! What’s funny is that people here say that spring is SO good that it makes winter worth it all, and that it makes you appreciate the good seasons. And our springs are kinda disappointing a lot, but so welcomed. When we first moved here we said, “Scratch that! I fully appreciated EVERY perfect day in California.” However, spring is such a reward to me.

  31. Awww I love Disney! I have the same pink ears. 😉 We are going there in May again. I’d love to move there and go every week, LOL. Anyways I love the pictures in your posts, they are my favorite!

    1. Those pink ears were so expensive, but worth it! I wish we had gone twice. I’m missing it. I even had a dream last night that I was there again for a FULL DAY, and doing so many rides I never knew existed. Have FUN! And on Wednesday, I’ll be finally sharing my Disney photos if you want to check back.

  32. Just took a break from reading the post. I L-O-V-E that picture of Scarlet and the little polar bear. I thought I could wait until I was finished reading to say this, but then I scrolled down and the next picture just made me lose my mind! She’s such a card!

    1. When I took that photo, it was a big hit on Facebook. Of course looking at it now, I sadly see the technical imperfections, but I do still love it. And I like that I can still surprise all of my blog friends who didn’t know me when Scarlet was a baby. So I like to reach into the vaults every now and then. I worry I use the same photos too much.

  33. I enjoy reading your answers for AWF but I also enjoy when someone gives you questions that really get at your heart. When someone takes the time to get to know you and ask such thoughtful questions. Beth’s questions were wonderful.

    We have an older salesman in California who always brings me See’s candies when he’s in town. I don’t buy chocolate for myself but I always eat the See’s that he brings. I love the caramel and marshmallow one’s most.

    I love the ages of your kids. I have grandkids the same age. It is wonderful and fun. They are cute, caring, and funny at those ages.

    1. I really agree, and I think I have been spoiled that all of my #AAF partners have been like this. It’s amazing. And I do really get into it!
      One and four are really fun ages. You find yourself crying at Disney Jr. Live events, ya know??

  34. Those last set of pictures had me crackin’ up! So cute. There are definitely things I miss about living back east .. though the cold is definitely not one of them. We got in the pool yesterday and y’all are freezing your tails off! Poor babies of mine!!
    Wish I could swoop you all up for a week and let you spend some time defrosting! 🙂
    Miss you mama


    1. Yes, swimming in a pool right now is far from my reach. I have friends in Arizona, Florida and Costa Rica all living it up right now!
      I do remember that we had our turn last month and we’ll have a beautiful New England spring and summer and fall, but winter is brutal.

  35. You know I love it when I see old couples holding hands. Because that is exactly what those long relationships but not “we haven’t slept in the same bed in 20 years” types of relationships are. That’s the kind of marriage I want me and the hubs to have when we’re 80.

    And yes—Penny and Desmond! I swear, just when the show seemed to have no good news, there was always Penny and Des.

    1. ALWAYS! And it may or may not be how we named our Des. Either that or Desmond Tutu – both great things.
      My grandparents held hands until my grandfather passed at 100 in 2012. Now my grandmother is 100!

  36. How could you match photos from the past with all these questions and answers perfectly? You probably dig through and have a very good memory of these photographs!wow…you are very talented. I didn’t know you have already obsessed on images since you were younger and even took a course related. Disneyland, a lasting romantic marriage…those are my dreams I know will be happening and will keep happening. Thanks for the link share invitation, I joined:)

    1. It’s mostly memory but every now and then I will only remember a photo or two from a time period and I’ll have to go through a few monthly archives. Mostly it doesn’t take long, but I can’t pretend it never does!
      May you fulfill your beautiful dreams soon.
      So glad you joined the linkup!!

  37. My favorite love story for real is John Wooden, the legendary basketball coach, and his wife. After she died, he wrote her a love letter every day.

    That photo of the dogs playing at sunset is my absolute favorite of yours.

    1. I can’t resist throwing it in there every now and then, ya know? I think we all need that burst of sunshine. Or at least we do up in the northeast!
      I’ll have to investigate this love letter story. I’m a sucker for these.

  38. I love the mother son bond you and Des share. I can’t believe you’ve had a dry spell. I thought you came out of the wound clicking 🙂 ! Hum, filmmaker seems so perfect for you, like “The Notebook” type of stories. One of these days, I’m going to cozy up and read this 20 part love story. Too many references to it.

  39. I hear you on not posting more than three times a week (but good job on four, you ROCK). I used to post a lot more often but it just got so that I couldn’t keep up with it all. And you’re so adorable that you love Valentine’s chocolate so much. I’m not sure why, but that little fact just makes me happy. It seems so well, YOU.
    I adore your grandparent’s love story. And you. And your photos.

    1. I have been born to love Valentine’s chocolate! Or something.
      There are some great love stories in this world. I wish I could compile them all in a book!

  40. So I am ridiculously late in commenting! Somehow I blinked and the weekend was gone! But I LOVED your answers! And I had to click on your link and go read the story of Des’s first week and got lost in your blog again! I really need to clear my schedule before I come over here! 😉
    I love those old love stories – so real and romantic. My parents actually have a great story – my mom grew up in Ireland and when she was in her early twenties came to America to live with an aunt for a year and worked at Ford Motor Company. Her aunt made her go to a St. Patrick’s Day dinner at a church, where my dad’s mom had made him wait tables. they met on St. Patrick’s Day, got engaged on Fourth of July, and got married the following Easter weekend. And she stayed in America. For my dad. So sweet.
    And those pictures of Scarlet – so adorable! How do you not just stare at her all day? 🙂
    Loved swapping with you and getting lost in your blog!

    1. You are too funny! I didn’t even notice a lateness in commenting because this weekend was crazy, and because I was just so happy to partner with you at all! And thank you for reading my other story! At least that one also has a smooth ending.
      I love the story of your parents. More and more, I want to compile a book of love stories within our family.
      And I do stare at Scarlet a lot but she gets angry! Little punk.

  41. Definitely concur with your love story being addictive. I neglected my family for most of a weekend reading it! You did a great job making the feeling of magic come through. And those pictures of Scarlet as a baby? Absolutely freaking adorable!

    1. That makes me so happy! (not that you neglected your family, of course, but duty calls)
      Scarlet and her big eyes and curls – she was irresistible. She still very much is, but it’s in a different way.

  42. Great pairing you two! Oh chocolates, any kind of chocolates! A couple of years ago we went to a Russel Stover outlet store and the hubby bought me a giant heart shaped box of chocolates, I mean we are talking 2′ x 3′! It was massive! And oh so good! LOL! I have not been able to finish your story, yet, and I am dying to get back to it! I had to stop at 10 and been so busy that I have not had a chance to get back to it! Those pictures are amazing! The expressions that you caught on those adorable faces! Just amazing! And that is so my kind of love story! Hope that you are having a great week, Tamara!.

    1. I would love a box of chocolates that big!
      My husband gave me sooo many chocolates for Christmas and I miraculously haven’t finished them yet.
      A new record!
      Have a great week, Stacey!!

  43. I feel the same way about my son – he’s still finding his words and it’s so amusing to me when I finally understand what he’s trying to say. Your Disney pics are getting me so excited for our upcoming trip! My parents are treating us to a Disney vacay for A&Z’s March birthdays! I haven’s started planning, but I should soon. Glad to hear your trip was relatively anxiety-free!

  44. Your daughter is so photogenic. I wish that I had the skills to take awesome photos. I mostly use my camera on my cell phone and they take okay photos.

  45. i hope my kid (whether a boy or girl) is just like scarlet, in wanting to cuddle all the time. i will have a breakdown when my toddler doesn’t want to hug me anymore!

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