i heart summer

This picture is just begging me to document some ‘gifts’… girls. summertime. hot hot hot weather. splashing. laughing. a Pop and Jo that make joy possible, always. beauty in the undone, unfinished, un-ready.  setting an example. embracing roles.  wet hugs. long naps. taking a moment to remember the gifts.


San Diego, we are ready for fun in the sun, ocean views, family, friends, swimming, a quick trip to Vegas, a wild night out on the town, rehearsing, eating, drinking, playing, laughing, cleaning up real nice,  getting beautiful, probably some happy tears and


Photos by K. Mari Photography

things I like today pt. 2

Things I like today:

…that 4 years in, this is what our life is.  Honestly though, I looked at this picture and felt O-L-D.  Like, double take- ‘wait, is that a picture of my parents and us when we were little?’  But, a little perspective later- I feel so far beyond blessed that I get to call this my life, that my front yard, those my children, him my husband…
…Father’s Day morning.  It sounded like this, “Ava, want to wrap your gift for Dad? Sure.  Think Dad will like his new shirt?  Of course, he told me his favorite color is purple. Ava, keep your voice quiet. Mom, can I crack the egg.  Just finish decorating your card.  OK. How do you spell Dad again.  Ava, keep your voice quiet. Oops, I added an extra A. It’s fine.  I drew you Mom, look how funny you look.  Can I try the bacon?  What kind of tea did we make dad?  It’s coffee. Ava, keep your voice quiet. Elle, NO! CRASH. Oh crap, nobody move.  Ava don’t walk on the floor.  Elle crawl into the bedroom. Ava call your sister.  Ava open the door.  He’s asleep.  No he’s not, just say Happy Father’s Day.  Happy Father’s Day.  Were you seriously sleeping. No…so, what’d you break?”
This dessert.  My new summer staple.  It’s like a frozen S’more.  Do it!
The little girls endorsed it with ‘yummy sounds’…so did everyone at the table.  Seriously, that good!
…my dad.
…the baby that we constantly have to strip down to her diaper because she is always such a mess.
…Kurt’s new “favorite color” shirt.
…this cute belly and the baby boy we are praying makes a prompt arrival the moment he is done cooking.

a gift for your enemy

So, if there’s anyone in your life that you hate…
buy them this.
That’s all.  I clearly hate myself, or my husband… but to my defense, when I let Ava pick out her gift for Elle’s birthday I had NO IDEA what I was saying ‘yes’ to.  So, you’ve been warned.  If someone buys this for your child, they don’t like you.  If you buy this for your own child, it’s your own dang fault when you start banging your head into the wall.
And on another note:
Who said girls don’t like mud?  I filled our pink baby pool with clean, warm [90 pitchers worth of hot tap] water, a variety of spoons and bowls for pretend cooking of some sort… and this is where both girls end up.  In our one lone flower pot making mud soup.  As for my nice, pink pool… it was their sink, where they did the muddy dishes. Great.

(this Elle-squat is my most favorite thing of the moment)


When I woke up to the smell of smoke…
nothing could have prepared me for what I found.

Ava:  “The lamp looked pretty with the crown on, Mom…”

Riiiiiiiiiiiiight.  Just a day in the life 😉


Happy Birthday Great-Nana!

Thank you for letting us celebrate your special day.

An extra special lunch for our baby bro’s college graduation.

I walked in after Elle’s nap to find that she had learned how to remove her pants…The fact that it wasn’t a ‘you know what’ filled diaper tossed carelessly over the crib rail was a special gift for me from God.

This is what is on ‘special‘ at our house every day.  HUGE MESSES! I’ve lost it people.  The will to tidy until the end of the day that is.  I think this is a step in the right direction for me 🙂 Though I have to say, just looking at this picture makes me a little twitchy.

Sanibel, FL

Sanibel Island, Florida= Highly Recommend!

And if you EVER get a chance to do it Sorenson-Style, drop everything, pack your bags and wait patiently for Mom and Dad S to pick you up!  We are beyond thankful for this wonderful ‘summer tease’ vacay with our parents/grandparents! We brought home enough memories (and seashells) to tide us over for a long long time 😉
We’re going to break this blog down a little differently… mostly because, try as I did (not that hard), I could not narrow down the pics.  So here goes with more swimsuit pictures than you ever wanted to see of the Sorenson Family!

Section One: Getting to the beach

If you asked us how the girls did on the flight out, immediately afterward we would have said, “Ava was great, Elle not so much.”  After having experienced the flight home… I don’t even remember the flight out but I’m pretty sure I would take that first flight ANY DAY.  Though Ava was perfect on all flying (and driving) legs of the trip, Elle was SO bad!  Now, I love that baby.  More than anything. But she was so unbelievably challenging that there are almost no words… almost.  I’ll just say, there were tears. mine. end of story.  Now, back to the trip out, check out all those bags!  The drive, though a little long (for me), was beautiful!  And, how did we quiet our loud one? I propped some Sid The Science Kid right in front of her little face!


Section 2: Every waking moment Pool Time

Look at these cuties on day one.  I want to dive right into this picture right now!

There was a hair salon.  Open for business any time someone would respond to our little princess’s broken record question, “Can we go swimming after this?”  or later in the week respond to her revised version, “Do you know what I like? Swimming.”

Only time she was content. Like sister, like sister.  Well, pool time it is 🙂

We’ve got a swimmer (she comes WITH the tube) and a waver, “Hi Da”  Me (repeatedly) “I’m Mom, but hi Elle”

Family swimming. I can’t think of anything better.

We had so much fun enjoying how easy-going and fun our Ava girl is.  She is a traveler just like her Dad.  She was NOT ready to come home. Not one bit!


Section 3: Our one family picture: The Grandparents are cute and so is Elle when she’s not whining

Think this was my favorite restaurant, Cips.  Can’t say the Long Island Iced Tea and Margaritas all around didn’t help after a full day of sunshine!

cute. cute. cute.

Section 4: Beaching, Shelling and Snacking

“Elle don’t eat sand”  Baby loves ocean, beach, shells… mostly for eating, but love nonetheless.  Ava was not happy on day one.  Fear settles in as we wonder what we will do with this girl for the countless beach vacations that the future was sure to hold for our family.  AHHHHHHH! Ken and Kurt contemplate…

Our girl comes through.  Praise God! Though she’s not into the water part, we’ve got a beach walking, shell collecting gal!  Thankful for her Daddy who did some therapy and converted our ‘beach hater’!

Eating a shell… keep this picture small please, my hair- yikes!… Ava doing some digging

Now this is more like the scenes I’ve had in my head all these years… How beautiful to watch dreams become reality and having these moments caught on film… LOVE!

These beaches were so awesome.  You can’t really tell in the pictures but if you dig into the wet sand with your heel, it’s just shells and shells underneath- so cool!


Section 5: “Here we go-go-go-go…. on an adventure” (hope there are some Cat in the Hat cartoon fans out there and I hope when you read this that dang song gets stuck in your head too!)

Don’t they look like they are on a mission and ready for an adventure?  They are.

We loaded them up and biked ’em around.  It was so much fun, mostly because there wasn’t so much as a hill to make this ride feel like a workout.  There was sweating, but that’s Florida, and Mary and I decided that the sweating was really good for cleaning our our pores… so a very successful morning overall.  And, Elle ends up holding someone’s hand… cute every time.


Section 6: The Gator hunt and I think I’m funny

We heard about some Alligator hot spots.  We headed over at least 3 times to snag a look.  Kurt- “Hmmmm, where are those guys?”
This, much to our disappointment is the only Gator we saw.


Section 7: I think I’m a photographer

Everyone takes this picture at the beach, right?  It’s some kind of club I think- I don’t know much about it, but I think I’m in.

Oh, ya know, the highlights, low lights, shampoo, conditioner, etc. from Ava’s Salon.

Baby Havianas… Have you ever seen anything so adorable in all you life?  Well just wait til I capture a picture of Elle in hers…

Wanna visit yet?

How about now?

just some smiling baby girls

I can’t tell if we look alike?!

I love this little dress!  Wonder if Jo saved it… This makes me want to save all of the girls outfits. Well, it makes me want to save everything. What if the gals want them someday?  I think we should probably invest in some kind of storage unit, Ava’s only 3 and her ‘stuff’ has taken over every room in the house.  Yikes!

I hardly remember Ava at this age…But I do remember that she was the biggest ham EVER.  We just had to hold up a camera and she’d  grin and pose until it was put away.  I do wonder where she got that from.

Elle doesn’t give us as many cheesy shots, but when she does they’re the ‘melt-your-heart’ variety.  Best pictures of her, hands down, in the bath.  This girl loves the water! We’re really hoping she also loves the sand…

Sanibel, Florida HERE WE COME (in 1 week)!!