Daily Living Photography Sometimes I dress nice

Smile and say cheese

Phew, It was a long time coming but we finally had our family photos updated! Ava joined us in 2014 and we haven’t had one professional family photo taken since we made our pregnancy announcement.

My friend, Ashley, was in town from Southern California and I coerced her into taking our family photos. I also promised her an early bed time and chain-store, personalized pizza for dinner. I mean, you can’t say no to that!

So, at last, just a mere 14-months after Ava made us a family of five we have pictures to add to that gallery wall I’ll finish one day. Here’s a few favorites of the gazillion that she took.

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And mamas, I absolutely hated stepping in front of the camera. I always feel weird, (what is my mouth doing? Is my right eye going all squinty on me? Why did I wear this dress?) But in the end…I loved them all. Don’t be afraid to step in front of the camera with your families, ladies. And don’t stress about clothes. Everything we are wearing we bought in the Spring. No new outfits necessary. And big shout out to Ashley Kelemen! You’re the best, girl!

xoxo

Kia’s Look | Dress Target Spring 2014, shoes Sole Society Spring 2014

Justin’s Look | Shirt JC Penny (He’s a big & tall guy so it’s a big and tall shirt), shorts Anchor Blue (yes, they are old)

Olivia’s Look | Chambray shirt & black jogger pants Brass Plum, Sandals Nordstrom Rack, Headband Michaels

Ella’s Look | Dress Tucker & Tate Nordstrom Rack, Shoes Chuck Taylor, Purse Zara, Bracelet Stella & Dot

Ava’s Look | Dress Harper Canyon Nordstrom Rack, Shoes (belonged to Olivia when she was a toddler)

Daily Living

The Great Escape

Let me tell you about the time (two weekends ago) that I took a great escape from J and the girls. And it was glorious!

I felt like I needed a getaway from the carpools. From the homework help (I curse you common core math) From the diaper changes (when is it too young to potty train a baby). And the question I am now most anxious about, “Mommmmmmm, what’s for dinner?” After Justin was finished with coaching volleyball and before he started his hectic season of coaching basketball, I took a little trip down to Southern California. He pushed me out the door and I tried my best not to skip down the stairs but YES! AN ESCAPE!

One, I am fortunate to have in-laws that jumped at the opportunity to take my place as family manager. They came up and were able to take the girls to ballet, pick them up after choir and leadership and entertain the youngest Gregory Girl in between. That was a relief.

I am also fortunate enough to have friends and family in Southern California that took care of me while I was away.

I stayed in Costa Mesa for a night with a dear friend, then headed to Beverly Hills and stayed with my cousin and his partner and the full staff that run their gorgeous home.

I slept in, I stayed up reading, finished reading two books, took leisurely showers, I ate a few lunches prepared by an insanely talented Parisian and I ate at some amazing little spots for dinner.

I cannot urge my mama friends to FLEE GET OUT NOW if they have the chance to do so. I was gone from Saturday at 7:45 AM to Tuesday at 6:45 PM. It was a mere 72 hours, but it was just what I needed to come back refreshed and ready to hop back in the car and make those mam carpool rounds I can drive with my eyes closed.

Here’s some snaps from that time away. It wasn’t about any site seeing. It was about time with friends. Time by myself. A few treats and a little pampering along the way. And mamas, I cannot urge you enough to get away if you can. Do it for yourself since I’m sure you’re probably doing so much for others.

KiaGregory_TheGreatEscape_TracyCA_001(Butter & salt donuts from Sidecar Donuts and Coffee in Costa Mesa. Then brunch at Gjelina in Venice Beach)
KiaGregory_TheGreatEscape_TracyCA_002(Résidence de France, Beverly Hills)

KiaGregory_TheGreatEscape_TracyCA_004(I was served the daintiest scoop of ice cream and ate it with the daintiest spoon. Have you seen me? I inhaled it with one breath)KiaGregory_TheGreatEscape_TracyCA_005(House doors were always open to the backyard. Finished I’ll Give You the Sun with the help of this sweet Mister)

KiaGregory_TheGreatEscape_TracyCA_006(Terroni in West Hollywood for Tagliolini in Canna a Mare and then a view of the city-photo taken by my cousin)KiaGregory_TheGreatEscape_TracyCA_007(No alarm clocks. Just me, my big ol’ quilt and my second book choice for my getaway)KiaGregory_TheGreatEscape_TracyCA_009(There was a CHEF. From FRANCE. And everyday the lunch he prepared was amazing. And we enjoyed it outdoors)KiaGregory_TheGreatEscape_TracyCA_003KiaGregory_TheGreatEscape_TracyCA_008(I love light and this old 1916 Beverly Hills home was flooded with it) KiaGregory_TheGreatEscape_TracyCA_010(Olive & June for a mani pedi, a blow out at the Dry Bar and a cupcake from Sprinkles)

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(It seemed like as soon as I was getting settled, it was time for me to go.)

Are you spent, you Sometimes Housewife? Time for you to consider a getaway.

Photography

Sometimes I photograph cute families

I’m your gal. Right now, I’m in Fall Mini Session Season. Info is below. Reserve your spot by clicking the link and purchasing your spot! I’ll email you within 24 hours to confirm! Don’t miss out!

  • Cost is $195
  • Sessions are short and sweet
  • 30-minute session up to 5 people (each additional person add $25)
  • 10-15 digital images with copyright release so you’re free to print where your little heart desires
  • Locations are here in Tracy
  • Visit my Facebook page here for some images of really cute kids and families
  • Email me at kiagphoto@gmail.com with questions

 

Daily Living

Prayers for UCC

I experienced a range of emotions today and still cannot believe the number of lives that were lost in the sleepy little town that Justin and I once called home.

Umpqua Community College was kind of where I began my adult life. It was Winter. It was cold. It was dreary. I was depressed. But later found out I wasn’t depressed, I was just pregnant. I saw a job opening at UCC when we first moved there and I felt like God was all, here you go, Kia, you spent six years of your life benefiting from this program, it’s now your turn to serve others doing the same thing. So, UCC was where Margaret hired me to be a program coordinator for a non-profit organization, fresh out of Cal State Fullerton. Fresh off of a vacation to Fiji with my best friend. The following year, UCC was my first administrative job where I ran that same non-profit with the help of a lot of other dedicated people. UCC is where I spent a Halloween meeting a federal grant deadline instead of taking my girls trick-or-treating. I am grateful that I had a friend named Nia to take my girls out with her girls that night.

My office was in the Student Center at UCC. The UCC cafeteria was where I bought an egg salad sandwich nearly twice a week to satisfy my pregnancy cravings. I’m sure it’s because I just wanted to eat mayo. It’s where I greeted my close friend Krystal after she said “I do” to her husband. I had two baby showers in the Student Center there. I decorated the display with Black History Month facts in February, because when you’re the only Black person on campus, you kind of get volunteered to do that. Go figure. (Thank you, Ralph.)

UCC is where I spent most of my days as a full time working mom. I was fortunate enough to use the daycare provided through the early childhood education department. Olivia, and later Ella, were just up the hill from my office. I could walk up to peek in on them sleeping or playing or eating. And the day there was a fire alarm that went off, I was scared that there was really a fire but later amused that it was my Ella that accidentally pulled the alarm while getting a diaper change. Both girls pretty much learned how to walk at the Ford Family Center. Thank you for loving my girls, Theresa and Julie. They had their friends there, the Sommerfeld boys, Olivia B and Charlotte. In the summer, Justin took Olivia and Ella to swim lessons at the pool in the PE building. I took them to yoga class with me.

The summers also meant longer days at the office. Employees worked four, ten-hour days so we could enjoy three day weekends. It sounds horrible (and for the first few weeks it always was) but summers at UCC also meant longer lunches with some funny people like Mike and Susan. And walking around to everyone’s offices all over campus because we had time to chat. I remember walking “the loop” down to the Umpqua River with my office manager Inez almost every day in the summer. I even took a chem lab class in the Science building.

The summers were amazing at UCC. I always thought, how can I work when the weather IS SO GOOD. In the summer, the trees were full of leaves and the grass was so green and so lush. It seemed unreal. I don’t know how many times I opted to walk through the grass shoeless just because. And everything even smelled so green and so lush. I remember Olivia and Ella skipping down the pebbled walkways. I remember borrowing the warehouse golf carts to drive around on campus. I remember taking walks near the river and thinking, whoever gets to experience this is lucky. But it was me! I got to experience that. I was the lucky one.

UCC is where I remember Fall. In Southern California Fall was only Fall by name. But in Southern Oregon, Fall would come to Oregon and it was like the best romance movie you haven’t seen yet. The air was crisp. The setting sun would hit all the leaves on the oak trees that grow all over campus and the tops of the trees would glow like they were on fire (cliche, I know but true). It was breathtaking. Fall is where I wore my black pea coat and my cute, pink, plaid scarf that Olivia picked out as a present for me. I wish I could go back and walk the campus again. It would be a like a hug from an old friend. I’m cheesy that way. I know.

UCC is supposed to be where high school grads can save some money on their education before headed off to University of Oregon or Oregon State University. UCC is supposed to be where people finding themselves in need of a career change or a new start can go for a change of pace. UCC is where families can take their kids to learn how to swim, or watch a basketball game or chase the turkeys.

But today, all of those lives lost…

All of those lives forever ruined…

I’m praying for all of those people affected by the shooting at UCC. I’m going to remember those Fall days before this tragedy. And I’m going to wrap myself in a hug for all of them. 

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Thanks, Kellie for the image.

Daily Living

First Day of School

We went back to school this week! Can you believe it! I am still trying to remember what I did this summer and I had to go back to work? Say what?

The family and I do this thing called #selfieSunday. After church we sneak around to the back of the building. stand together and take a family photo. I post them on Instagram. If you’re a user, come on and follow me!

For back to school, I usually take the picture of my family. Back to school is usually a Monday, and that means it’s not my first day of school but the big girls and Coach. This time, school started on Tuesday so I got to get into the action. Holllllla.

Here is our #backtoschoolselfie, with the baby, of course. Coach is headed into his lucky number 13th year of teaching. I am headed back for my fifth year as a librarian. (Someone, get me some wood to celebrate.) Our oldest girl is going into 7th and the perfect middle child of me is headed into 4th. Time is flying. I’m sure I’ll say the same thing when the baby goes into Pre-K and then kindergarten.

IMG_2818And, the real celebration came tonight because guess what? This sometimes housewife COOKED DINNER! First, do you have a pressure cooker? Game changer. I will write about that later. A few nights ago, I cooked chicken breasts in the pressure cooker. We had a few leftover breasts so I made some chicken enchiladas. And everyone acted like I was The Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond. And I soaked it in. And even picked up a little country accent, “y’all want seconds?”

The icing on the cake? I made a batch of cookies for our church hospitality team last week, refrigerated the leftover dough and I threw them in the oven after the enchiladas came out of the oven. WHO AM I??? I don’t even know right now, but I’m gonna roll with it!

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Did you have any super-housewife moments this week? Share them with me so we can all be inspired!